The chances of achieving objectives and goals are greater when a company has an effective marketing strategy in place. Though there is always room for traditional strategies such as targeting the audience through television or radio, the modern consumer is progressively using other methods (the Internet, mobile phones, etc.) to access information. Here, social media marketing is vital, especially in a country like India which is one of the youngest in the world demographically and has a growing broadband market. It is not far-fetched to suggest that marketing strategies are the blood line of any business and that a company’s long-term goals are dependent on their efficacy.
Marketers in India typically utilize television, print and the Internet for marketing their offerings. Some key figures related to these sub-segments are given below:
The Indian M&E industry is expected to grow 11.8 per cent to garner revenues worth Rs 91,700 crore (US$ 14.79 billion) in 2013, according to an industry report. Traditional media such as television, print and radio continue to dominate. However, other segments such as animation, visual effects, films and music are quickly gaining acceptance due to their content and the advantages of digitization.
Conventional media such as television and newspapers remain the masses’ preferred source for information and entertainment; they account for over four-fifths of the advertising revenue. However, the Internet has gradually been increasing its share in the advertising pie. Spends on digital media hovered just above 1 per cent of the total advertising expenditure in 2005; in 2012, it stood at a respectable 7 per cent.
Search advertising catered for about 38 per cent (Rs 850 crore [US$ 137.14 million]) of the total online advertising spend while display advertising formed a significant 29 per cent (Rs 662 crore [US$ 106.86 million]) by March 2013, according to the findings of ‘Digital Advertising in India’ report conducted by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International.
Advertisements on mobile phones and tablets have increased from a 7 per cent share in FY 2011–12 to 10 per cent of the online advertisement market in FY 2012–13, which amounts to expenditure of around Rs 230 crore (US$ 37.17 million). Social media, email and video advertising comprise 13 per cent, 3 per cent and 7 per cent of the online advertising market, respectively.
Social media is increasingly being used by companies, big or small, to reach out to potential consumers. The advantage of social media is that a business can interact with its customer in a closer, peer-to-peer manner, something that is not always possible with non-digital marketing. Social media is a unique instrument of communication that facilitates interaction not just between two entities (the company and the consumer) but between multiple parties (i.e. the company, its clients, stakeholders, employees, etc.). With social media, companies can create, sustain and leverage connections and strengthen their position in the market.
Multinational American Express is an example of a company which is active in both B2C and B2B spaces. It has established conversational platforms, both independent (Open Forum) and mainstream social media (Amex on Facebook), in an effort to improve communications with small businesses and potential investors. American Express regularly updates its website with news pertinent to its audience (e.g., facts and trends about small businesses), often posting challenging questions aimed at involving them in discussions as well as facilitating meaningful interactions between small businesses. This way, the multinational has successfully established itself as a hotbed of information exchange within the industry.
Professional networking site LinkedIn is another hot spot for marketers, especially with the site gaining popularity among Indian users. Experts opine that unlike users of other social media platforms, LinkedIn users, being professionals with disposable income, are more likely to purchase products and services.
Industry body NASSCOM in collaboration with AbsolutData Research and Analytics, has released a report: ‘Marketing Analytics – An opportunity for India to Lead’ which states that the Indian marketing analytics industry is expected to grow from its present value of US$ 200 million to US$ 1.2 billion in 2020, a CAGR of 25 per cent. The report highlights that companies have begun to use marketing analytics insights more and more in order to gain competitive advantage in the market.
Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.01613 as on August 3, 2013
References: Media Reports, Press Releases, KPMG report