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Online mktg in India: Consumers there, marketers missing

Online marketing with platforms such as mobile has seen phenomenal growth in the last few years all thanks to the technological advancement in the marketing space. The number of mobile users alone in India has doubled from 120 million in 2011 to 278 million in 2014. Also, shipment of 220 million smartphones was seen in the last year which has led to the growth of smartphone penetration in India.

With the advent of such technological innovations in the industry, e-marketing or online marketing has emerged as the buzzwords for marketers in India with 87 per cent of them using technology to improve their tracking and return on investment, according to a study by Octane Research titled ‘The Digital DNA’.

Website marketing dominates, followed by email & social
Among primary e-marketing activities, 72 per cent marketers voted for website marketing. However, India being a mobile country, it is imperative for all companies to have mobile friendly communication and responsive websites.

“By 2020 the penetration is going to increase multifold and even tier 2 and tier 3 cities have seen mobile penetration increasing from 2010. Till date there has been a 300x increase in mobile marketing. Going forward, mobile is the way to go on the back of formulating strategies for mobile advertising,” said Amit Bajaj, Communications Leader of Brand and Social Media at  General Electric.

Website marketing was followed by email marketing with 71 per cent votes and social media marketing with 69 per cent. Meanwhile, search marketing garnered only half of marketers votes and mobile or SMS (short message service) marketing saw only 26 per cent marketing attributing it as their primary e-marketing activity, the research report added.

Nevertheless, e-marketing or online marketing is gradually picking pace among Indian marketing but has a long road ahead and the same was seen in the e-marketing budget allocation by marketers in 2014. It was observed that most marketers spent less than 30 per cent of their marketing budget on online marketing.

Travel & Tourism, BFSI leads online mktg; ecommerce lags behind
“When we take a deep dive sector wise, we see that the Travel and Tourism sector has 25 per cent of marketers put in over 50 per cent of their marketing budgets in online marketing. For the BFSI (Banking, Financial services and Insurance) sector, its 18 per cent and for retail and ecommerce its 15 per cent,” the report said.

Unfortunately, ecommerce sector is investing more money in traditional marketing like TV, print, OOH; this impacts the budget put aside for online marketing. Ecommerce big daddies like Flipkart and Snapdeal were seen offering huge discounts on their websites this festive season but they have opted for print and television as the primary marketing platform despite the growing popularity of e-marketing in India.

Marketing experts understand that there is no other device as persuasive and as personal as a mobile phone which makes the marketing message far more effective on the minds of the consumer. How marketers leverage this platform is going to determine the success or the failure of their marketing strategy.