Industry veterans discuss opportunities and concerns amid economic uncertainties
GN Bureau | March 1, 2023
It is time for digital media to convert impressions to GRPs (gross rating points) to get measurement numbers. An advertiser is entitled to know the content where their ad is placed. These were among the issues discussed in the Governance Now Roundtable on Current Trends in Advertising. The participants were advertising industry titans Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands India; Vikram Sakhuja, Group CEO, Madison Media & OOH; and Avinash Pandey, CEO, ABP Network. The session was moderated by Governance Now MD Kailashnath Adhikari.
Watch the full discussion:
Should digital media go for geo-targeted advertising? Shashi Sinha said that unlike TV, print and outdoor mediums, digital is opaque and based on search, discovery and performance-based marketing.
Avinash Pandey said the problem is in the entire eco-system. In digital you are not choosing a medium and only choosing a targeted age group, geography etc. “This is dangerous for businesses and democracy.” Sinha concurred with this view.
Vikram Sakhuja said that building blocks of media learnt through media planning should be extended to digital. In digital we are only talking of impressions, which are another form of GRPs. They are not converting that into GRPs which is a two-minute job. Reach is given only in terms of percentage and not numbers which will help reach out to both digital and video audience.
“The big problem on digital video is that you have a much longer tail than TV, so it is difficult to build reach on high frequency on digital. As an advertiser, I should be completely entitled to know in which content my ad is placed,” he said.
While discussing the topic on majority digital adex happening in Google and Meta and if this will continue, Shashi Sinha India said in future market will open up. “As MSMEs grow, growth will happen and automatically monopoly will break.”
Sakhuja felt that currently digital emphasis has been on performance at the cost of branding. “With focus on branding, digital will continue to grow,” he said. He called for integrated marketing between TV and digital.
He added, “Out of the total video, we projected about 30,000 crore of TV advertising and 10,000 crore of video advertising. Today 25% of total video is on digital. Going further, integrated set up will be a roll for both and very interesting to watch.”
Sakhuja was for having industry-led cross-media studies to study entire digital eco-system and an industry body driving audience measurement to make it more democratic.
Do viewers still prefer to watch news on TV screens? Pandey said digital platforms like Twitter, Facebook are enablers of news, getting more people to come on TV to watch news. “More and more TV sets being sold in country. Signal delivery medium of news consumption is changing and people are watching live news including GEC.”
Pandey said that media owners should invent engaging content in a way that recognizes search media as enablers for people to come to TV. “More and more people are watching TV and news on TV which is not reflecting in data,” he observed. As a case in point, he said, there is no state government or political party that is not investing heavily in television. They are in touch with their voters on a daily basis and know their consumption habits.
Here Sakhuja added that the credibility and role of news anchors holds the attention of news audience and said that it is time newspapers made heroes out of their editors.
With huge layoffs taking place in e-commerce companies, the question is if e-commerce and e-tech companies will sail out of red and continue to contribute to advertising. Sinha felt that global headwinds impact can last slightly longer and slow down inflow of funds whereas Sakhuja said they expected funds to keep coming.
Pandey said that many media companies that witnessed spreadsheet-based business (alluding to e-commerce companies) either no longer exist or are forced to sell their companies at far cheaper prices than what they could have for otherwise. “We have seen such windfalls once in every two-three years. Thankfully, with IBF, we have a robust system of getting money on time.” He added that as media owners, if they feel business is not very sound, they should collect money in advance. “They spike our adex.”
While India is a bright spot amidst global scenario, will discretionary spends by consumers rise? The experts said that barring a few product lines there is double-digit growth in CPG (consumer packaged goods) in both volume and value across categories specially food.
Pandey said that this year they expect growth in FMCGs, telecom, media companies, advertising and subdued growth so far in automobile, two-wheelers and small cars, all of which will need advertising. More foreign investment in the real manufacturing sector will lead to growth in advertising, he said.
Sinha also said that that connected TV will grow and potentially deliver content to a large number of people as he added that brands are very bullish on TV and print as trusted mediums that add immense value to advertising.
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