Digital - the big story
Facebook bet heavily on India with its Jio investment. While some may see it as Facebook’s way to get access to Jio’s data of consumers, I see it as a vote of confidence by a large social media behemoth on the future revenue opportunity from India. It’s also a huge sign of confidence for the future of digital India and digital marketers.
Video video everywhere
Zoom made video meets the norm, fast-tracking the asynchronous style of working with pitches, brainstorms and account wins being done remotely. Today everyone from agencies to marketers believes that this way of working is not only possible, but efficient too. OTT platforms scaled up as newspapers stopped print, production and cinemas shut, and TV programming became stale, making everyone discover online content like never before.
Adtech coming of age
The Nasdaq listing of PubMatic, an adtech company with an Indian connection and growth story, is a big boost to the confidence of adtech players in India and globally. Inspite of its global focus and clients, it shows that adtech can be global, listed successfully and may lead to more entrepreneurs entering this domain.
COVID-19 = Chief Transformation Officer
COVID-19 escalated the need and urgency of digital transformation. Where earlier many companies and their CEOs were dragging their feet, it became a focus area for most marketers. E-commerce platforms’ strategy became a no brainer with those abstaining from it so far having no option but to jump onto the bandwagon.
Lows & Learnings
Most marketing efforts were halted for at least a quarter this year owing to cash crunch. Everyone from agency owners to service providers realised the importance of cashflow, highlighting to marketers the need for non-paid media and guerrilla strategies that aren’t expensive but keep you connected to consumers.
Outdoor & events catastrophe
While there are no clear numbers just yet, I believe everyone will agree that for at least six months this year the outdoor and events business has been nearly down to zero figures. While the corporate events space moved online to webinars or online launches, outdoor and billboards had little to no respite.
The long road to recovery
While the stock market and consumer sentiments are normalizing, consumers in marketing and advertising have changed in the past few months, the medium-term impact of which is still to be seen. For now, the marketers though bullish on the future are likely to take a more pragmatic view. Media and marketing spends will still take a year or more to recover, with the digital segment beating its previous growth charts and possibly being the only silver lining.