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What the festive season in India means for digital marketers

Internet users in India have spiked close to 250 million from 165 million in March 2013. Marketers in India are well aware of the opportunities this bring and have leveraged this for what Diwali bonus holds for brands. Industry experts believe that advertisers have cleverly devised strategies months in advance to reach this portion of internet users as potential consumers for their product.

Over the last few year Indian marketers have formulated elaborate researches and studies which help them to connect to a larger consumer base. They consider the festive season from October-December as a critical time. Typically, there is a surge in the buying pattern of consumers due to the concept of gift giving, according to Vineet Gupta, Managing Partner at 22 feet. Further, to enter the consciousness of these consumers, marketers must use creative opportunities in the market.

Interestingly, the sale of technology gadgets is the highest during the festive season in India. Even foreign brands such as California-based Apple has acknowledged this trend and launched its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, earlier this month to contribute to the shopping excitement soaring high this festive season, said Mr Gupta.

Further, ecommerce positions marketers at a better place and offers enormous opportunities in terms of reach. Brands need to leverage the use of ecommerce to connect to the consumers who are digitally connected.

Avinash Jhangiani, Managing Director of Digital and Mobility Head at Omnicom Media Group India is of the opinion that advertisers still haven’t completely leveraged the benefits of fervor during the festive season and are still grappling with internet users who are accessing the services through mobile devices and not desktop.

Marketers still face challenges as too many brands can make the marketing place cluttered which may seem a nuisance to the consumer. “The greatest challenge is going to be finding a sweet spot between advertisers, ecommerce players and media owners. We must integrate the efforts to two-three entities to reach the target audience,” explained Mr Jhangiani.

One aspect many advertisers could have overlooked is – television. “The impact of digital technology on Indian consumers cannot be neglected and television continues to be an integral part of the marketing strategy in India. Marketers must focus their efforts in creating a seamless transition across different platforms, “ pointed Mr Jhangiani.

The other side to the ecommerce industry in India is mobile marketing and brands must watch out for the increase in number of mobile users in the space which gives them tremendous scope for broadening its consumer base. Mobile advertising will help in streamlining the efforts of marketers as they will be moving towards more location-based marketing.
Through mobile marketing, marketers can ensure the relevance of products to its target audience. For example, “they can geographically customise the product based on information of the telecom circle they belong to,” added Mr Gupta.

Eyeing the opportunity, UC Browser, a mobile service browser has collaborated with e-tailers in India such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Myntra, Jabong, Homeshop18 and Shopclues during this the Diwali sale period. UC Browser allows the mobile users to compare the deals across ecommerce platforms and find the best available offer.

“We are not only doing it on Diwali, but we will work closely to provide more discounts in the future. The partnership will go further beyond Diwali Shopping Festival, as more in-depth cooperation is under way,” said Kenny Ye, Managing Direction of UCWeb India.

This is the beginning of ecommerce in India. Marketers must learn from Flipkart’s Big Billion
Day sale, the success of which is arguable among consumers as Flipkart was left dealing with inefficiencies in term of logistics. Efforts must be made in the right direction to ensure that the ecommerce industry in India is well equipped to host such sale events in future.

Summing up Mr Jhangiani said, “India is at a stage where we are still experimenting with opportunities and we will be at a much mature stage by next year. Under such conditions, the mobile device must be used as an enabler.”

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