Technology has come to play a vital role in the business world. It has disrupted almost all the business industries on a global scale. It has made it nearly impossible for a business to be rigid and stick to their comfort zones. In these times of uncertainty and change, companies need to learn to respond to such disruption, rather than stick to traditional ways, to survive in their respective industries. Let’s look at how Technology has advanced Digital Marketing in India.
Today, most of the world’s population is active on the internet and ultimately consumes a considerable amount of content through social media. A recent study shows that people now spend over 8-10 hours of their day online. The use of social media increased by up to 82%, gaming is at 76%, and video playing increased to 113%. The number of people using Zoom and Google Classroom crossed over 6 million and 4 million, respectively. Netflix, Facebook, and YouTube usage are on the rise like never before. Facebook saw an increase in users from 140 million to 170 million. Netflix enjoys up to 24 million views and users. The increase in YouTube usage is more than 15.3%. Even a start-up has the scope to operate globally due to the absence of geographical barriers online, courtesy of social media platforms, and digital marketing.
Companies need to expose themselves and grab these opportunities to increase their brand visibility, return on investment, and customer loyalty. With practical strategies, the companies can achieve their targets with a mix of organic and paid methods of digital marketing and end up saving a substantial amount of their advertisement cost. In retrospect, digital marketing is here to stay. Let us look at the different aspects and areas of digital marketing in India to understand the concept better.
The Scope of Digital Marketing in India: An Overview
You will find a vast scope in digital marketing. A company can reach out to their target group of customers. It can also attract more audiences with the use of smart strategies. Marketing through digital channels is faster than the conventional method. Companies get instant feedback. It is time-saving.
Traditional marketing is an offline method. Phone calls, print ads, billboards, newspapers, brochures, direct mail letters, etc. are some of the mediums used. The traditional way of marketing is costlier, time-taking, and requires more resources.
Start-ups and even SMEs have shifted to digital marketing. It is easier for a start-up to advertise its products and services through digital platforms. The information can be widespread, and it requires fewer resources. It is very beneficial for start-ups. Due to the trend of digital marketing in India, it is easier for them to save money on advertisements.
India is moving towards digitalization. Almost all companies are opting for digital marketing. Lately, there has been a significant investment in digital platforms by listed companies such as Facebook and Google. Google is investing $4.5 billion into internet companies, and Facebook is investing $5.7 billion. This clearly shows a ray of hope for the future of digital marketing in India.
The Changing Business Dynamics
Digital Marketing has remolded and changed the way companies plan their marketing strategies. Companies have shifted from the conventional method of advertising to online methods. The business environment is uncertain.
The advancement in technology takes place often. Consumer behaviors and needs to keep changing with time. This causes changes in business dynamics. Digital marketing has secured its spot in the business world, right from start-ups to large companies.
Digital marketing is changing the way a company carries out its business. The changes in the wave of marketing have affected traditional marketing drastically. Why did this happen?
The shift to a more digitalized world has affected those companies who solely depended on word of mouth, print ads, brochures, billboards, and loyalty of customers. Even though traditional methods still do exist, digital marketing has taken over. The conventional methods are not so useful.
An increase in online shopping has harmed the retailers. Online shopping is more convenient for consumers as they can shop sitting at their homes. It is less time consuming, and the customers get a wider variety. The consumer can buy at any time at their convenience. They can look for different options across websites due to the versatile nature of digital marketing.
Due to the decrease in the physical presence of customers, physical retailers have to shift to digital platforms. To succeed in doing so, retailers need to collect market data and make use of it. The retailers need to advertise their products online and reach out to their target consumers. Due to the numerous online options available to a customer, retailers need to make sure they are creative in marketing.
Studies have shown that 70% of customers learn about products through digital marketing methods over traditional marketing methods. Around 72% of people who search for stores online, end up visiting them within a limited time frame. 64% claim that they felt the need to buy a product after watching marketing videos on social media. Moreover, 80% of customers research a product online before purchasing. This clearly shows that digital marketing has an edge over traditional marketing.
Advertisements for products and services have become cheaper. Now, companies can reach out to a broader audience across different countries. Companies can conduct research and feedback forms. Paid advertisements have started to trend a lot. Companies can also advertise their products through influencers. It’s a win-win situation for both influencers and companies.
Digital marketing is beneficial to consumers, as well. The consumers can give their feedback and review products online at any time. Due to the availability of 24/7 customer service, they can instantly send in a complaint. Today, companies can respond to customers within a few seconds. They can give instant feedback to the companies, through messages, ratings, and forms. The conventional method includes calling consumers or asking them to give feedback on the spot.
Some of the customers might not give their proper reviews due to the restriction of time. 1/3rd of the consumers prefer giving feedback or sending in complaints through online platforms, according to the social media report -2012 by Nielsen.
Scope of Digital Marketing in India
According to Statista’s report, as of January 2020, the digital population in India is 687.6. This is almost 50% of the country’s population. Companies can swiftly reach out to their customers through online marketing. In traditional methods, it was difficult to do so. The budget constraint, demographics, and different geographical locations of the customers are the causes of this problem.
The number one priority of every company is to fulfill customer needs and meet their expectations. The nature of online advertisements is flexible. The companies can instantly respond to the changing dynamics of the business environment.
From start-ups to small and medium scale companies, all of them are relying on digital marketing. Start-ups are launching their business online instead of promoting their products through banners, billboards, and brochures. It is easier for them to advertise online as it is less costly and gives them a higher return on investment. Different industries starting from techies to hoteliers are making use of different platforms.
The “Digital India” campaign launched by the government supports the trend. This initiative aims at transforming India into a country empowered by the digital world. Due to the availability of employment programs offered by the government, this sector holds a place in the country. It gives opportunities for careers in digital marketing. The reach of this initiative extends to the rural areas as well. This program has helped the government to make “e-India” a reality. The country can reach out to audiences all over the world. Indian digital marketing agencies have become many US company’s preferences.
The scope of digital marketing in India is so high that colleges and institutions are offering courses related to it. There are many online courses, as well. Digital marketing agencies are taking the initiative to train prospective job-holders.
People depend on social media for everything, right from news to shopping to food. The companies are making sure that they keep the users engaged with the brand through social media. The brand posts and keeps updating their content regularly.
The Domains of Digital Marketing in India
Digital marketing has become the key to success for every business. It helps a company increase its brand value, ROI, consumer reach. Today, digital marketing professionals are in demand. The younger generations have started investing their time in studying and training themselves for this field. They are looking for opportunities in this field. Here are the different domains of digital marketing.
1. Website Designing
The website of a company is like a physical store. The design of the company should be attractive enough for a customer to invest their time in looking for their products and services. Professionals who are pro at this skill are highly demanded in the market.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The second domain of digital marketing is Search Engine Optimization. It is an organic way that aims at increasing the quantity and quality of the traffic to the company’s website through search engine results. Promotion of content on different platforms, website performance, etc. are the skills expected from SEO experts. Through SEO, the company increases its visibility, sales. It improves its brand credibility.
3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Where SEO is an organic way, SEM is a paid method to drive traffic. Advertisement campaigns through paid agencies are an example of SEM. Paid/Inorganic methods help in promoting the company’s website and its products. The experts are in high demand. They are highly paid for their services. This domain helps a company increase its brand awareness, products quicker when compared to SEO.
4. Social Media Marketing
This domain is the most effective and easy way to make one aware of their company. Social Media Marketing is one of the most dependable ways for a company to reach out to their target customers. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are the main platforms. This domain is cheaper when compared to the rest. It is one of the most valued and used methods for digital marketing.
5. Content Writing
It is all the content a company uses online on their websites for promotions. Creativity is the key to the content to be attractive enough. Content Marketing is the communication between the business and its target. It shows how much a company values its customer’s needs. Content writing has the power to influence and convert potential customers.
6. Email Marketing
Companies send personal emails to customers. They do so for marketing products, new schemes, discounts, etc. Emails hold a strong position in marketing. Emails are a way to connect to customers directly. Again, this is a low-cost method of advertisement.
7. Video Marketing
Videos are a very valued way of promotion. The customers like to see creativity and visual content rather than just texts. Videos can easily influence a customer. Videos Marketing grabs more attention and has the ability to spread easily over social media.
Analytics is a very important part of marketing. Its use is to check whether the campaigns, methods and the other domains of marketing are effective enough. The company can change or improve their ways after analyzing the response, customer behavior. This also helps a company keep track of its budget and analyze their ROI.
Using digital marketing methods have proven to increase ROI by 25% and more. Your ROI significantly rises depending on the number of platforms and devices you reach out to. It is the most effective way to increase ROI in the current situation and beyond it. It is high time to inculcate digital marketing into your Return on Investment strategies.
Influence on “Corona Crisis Management”
The current pandemic has drastically affected many industries. The most affected are the entertainment and travel industries. Consumers have become very cautious due to quarantine measures. Companies have reduced their marketing campaigns due to the huge dip in sales. There is a halt in traveling across countries and going out for entertainment purposes like cinemas, etc. While corona has severely affected industries and their marketing campaigns, there is a brighter side to it as well.
Companies are using digital marketing to their best interest. Companies are promoting their brand with innovative campaigns related to corona. For example, Amul has always kept up with the current ongoing situations. The brand exploits its innovation to the best use. The cartoons sketched were wearing masks, washing hands, evacuating from flights. Companies are sending creative emails to their customers related to the pandemic. They are promoting their products by using different innovative strategies to increase awareness about corona crisis management.
Using informative and creative videos for ensuring the safety of your product is a great way to improve sales, especially during this time of crisis. Always make sure your website is optimized. This will appeal to all the customers who approach it. Update it with new COVID-19 related content. It is best to show that your services will continue even in this uncertain time. Digital marketing is the best way to ensure this. Regularly promoting your products, along with safety precautions taken, through social media, is an advisable option.
Many events canceled due to the pandemic, and companies have seen a loss in advertisements. Offline marketing is losing its spark. Retailers and companies can use this opportunity to expose themselves to digital marketing. Many industries have the opportunity to attract target and potential customers to the brand. This is possible by adopting creative marketing strategies and responding to the current situation. Customers like to see innovation.
The most impacted industry is Travel and Tourism(almost 68%). Other industries like retail-brick and mortar(56.1%), restaurants(49.3%), Automotive(48.8%) and apparel/ fashion(26.3%) also face a gloom at this point.
With the pandemic having such a massive presence, people hardly step out of their homes. Billboards advertising several products are lying unnoticed. All other previously successful ways of marketing prove unfruitful now. This is where digital marketing becomes useful. It makes it easier to reach your target audience and attract them towards your products.
Some of the Successful Digital Marketing Campaigns in India
Some companies in India have been very successful with their digital marketing campaigns. Let’s see the different campaigns carried out.
Lays has been a household name in India for many years now. But its marketing campaigns always attract attention to it. Let’s put light and recall two of those many campaigns.
This campaign had rolled out in October 2019. Lays got over 200 million impressions. The company changed its packaging. It took the initiative to spread positivity by showcasing a smile that can connect people from everywhere. A lot of celebrities and influencers promoted this campaign. The music video launched for Smile Deke Dekho starred Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor. The video received a massive response with 120 million + views.
Lays recently launched the #heartwork campaign. It collaborated with many leading brands. This initiative was to pay tribute to all the unsung heroes who are working despite the current pandemic situation. Lays engaged with 20 brands from different industries to express gratitude to the #heartwork of the unsung heroes of the country. Lays wanted to spread its message to a wider audience. lays launched custom packaging with different messages related to the brands and also released a song about #heartwork. Many singers across the country took part in endorsing the campaign by singing the same song.
Maggi has been a household name since the ’90s. There was a ban imposed on Maggi in India in 2015. Everyone had shifted to the alternatives. But after the removal of the ban, Maggi was re-launched in 2016. With its creative and nostalgic campaign, it won the customers back. The company has had brand loyalty since forever. Even after the whole ban situation, it has managed to maintain its brand name, awareness, and customer loyalty. This campaign had such an impact in the market that it is still remembered.
Spotify is one of the top music streaming apps. It entered India in 2019. The company launched a campaign featuring two of the most celebrated Indian cinema actors, Anil Kapoor and Ishaan Khattar. It was a Diwali campaign where the video featured the two actors. The main motive of it was to make Indians aware of this app. It wanted to convey the message that people can choose from over 50 million songs from the app. Spotify chose a good time to do so, as Diwali is India’s biggest and auspicious festival.
A tweet by Rahul Bose about how he was charged Rs. 442.50 for just two bananas at a hotel had gone very viral. Amazon prime took this opportunity to promote themselves in India. Their response to the tweet went viral. They compared a picture of two bananas with their prime logo. They mentioned all the things a customer can get from them is Rs.442. It included 3 months of prime video, free delivery on an order, same-day shipping, free music-streaming, student discounts (student account), e-books, and saving of Rs 55. This was a very smart move because the tweet had gone viral all over social media.
Flipkart comes up with different campaigns before announcing something special. It is one of the most popular e-commerce websites in India. One of their campaigns that received huge success was #NewPinchDays. It was a three video campaign about promotional offers. In the video, kids act and behave like adults. It dropped hints about the campaign on Twitter in the form of “P language” and asked people to guess it.
Flipkart promoted this campaign on the occasion of women’s day. It wanted to promote breaking gender stereotypes. It released a very heart-touching video to spread the message.
Samsonite launched the “KeralaIsOpen” campaign for Kerala towards the end of 2018. This advertisement grabbed attention, and people felt instantly connected to it. The floods that had happened in Kerala were devastating for everyone. Kerala is well known for its tourism in India, and due to these floods, this sector was adversely affected. Samsonite took the social initiative to show the revival of this sector in Kerala. The video portrayed the state beautifully. Many celebrities had endorsed this campaign. The video got over 3 million views.
Apart from this, while people remain locked in their houses, several eCommerce grocery platforms took it upon themselves to provide their customers with essential products. Today, major brands like BigBasket, Amazon, etc. are delivering approximately 2,83,000 orders each day. With this, we can see how some eCommerce companies are not only getting the first-mover advantage. But also, this indicates the amount of time people spent on digital platforms.
How to Choose the Best Digital Marketing Channels for your Business?
A company has to take several decisions to choose the right channel for their business. Here are a few steps a company can look at to make sure they select the best channel.
Research about different methods
The first step for a company is to be aware of the different ways in which it can promote its products and services. If a company is completely new to the concept, it should research it first. The company must conduct in-depth research and look at the differences in all methods.
Cost of different Marketing Ways
The company should be aware of the cost involved in different digital marketing methods. This will help the company set its budget. It should also decide if it wants to hire an agency, depending on them for some tasks.
Goals and Objectives
The company should know the goal for which they want to use digital marketing. The different domains of digital marketing help the company achieve different goals. If the company knows what its objectives are, it becomes easier for it to choose the method which best suits it. It will make things clearer. For example, for a start-up or an SME, the company would want to build its brand image. The company should choose SEO, social media marketing, and pay per click (SEM) as these are the best-suited methods.
The company should decide the marketing budget according to their size and goals. If it is a start-up company, there can be two sides to it. First, since the company would want to build its brand image and reach out to target and potential customers, it can choose to spend a lot on marketing. On the flip side, it can choose to start with a budget-friendly method as it wants to try out different methods and save money.
The most important factor that a company should keep in mind before marketing is their target audience. The company should know its customers and their taste, preferences, and interests. For example, finding out which social media platform the target is the most engaged in, what content is the most appealing to them. It is very important to understand consumers.
These are the few factors that a company should keep in mind when it moves to online marketing. If the start-up or the SME can list down these five decisions well, it will likely select the best-suited channel. The company can get a higher ROI with low cost by just strategizing and choosing the best channel.
Shifting from Offline to Online Marketing
Doesn’t it seem like it is a cake-walk to shift from offline to online marketing?
Well, even though it looks easy, a lot of planning, researching, and training goes into it. The company needs to invest a good amount of time planning the above strategies mentioned. And it doesn’t just end at planning. The company needs to research and find out how to be effective in advertising. The company needs to be creative and innovative due to the never-ending competition.
The consumers have the upper hand and to win a customer’s loyalty, the company needs to build a brand image first. Due to the reliability of offline methods, it will take time for companies to shift to online marketing. The company would need to train their employees with the requirement or hire agencies. All this is a part of the strategies mentioned above.
It is easy for large companies to shift, as they have already built their image. These companies have customer loyalty, huge funds, and PRs. Whereas, small-medium scaled companies might find it a little challenging to do so. If the company depended on offline methods before, it would have to invest a good amount of time in strategizing. The company will have to collect data to understand the market.
What are the best channels for your business?
Social media is definitely a wonderful channel for you to spread awareness about your products. Apps like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. get good traffic. It will bring a lot of attention to your brand. Using YouTube is also another channel to improve your digital presence. YouTube receives more traffic than all social media apps combined. Uploading videos about your brand and gaining more subscribers will boost your customer base. Affiliate marketing is yet another thoughtful way to market your products and reach a wider audience.
Growth Rate of Digital Marketing Industry in India
Digital marketing is the one industry that has grown tremendously in India. The growth rate of this industry is at least 25-30% annually. The industry is worth $68 Billion.
What is the main reason behind this growth?
The main event that sparked up this industry is the “Digital India” initiative. The government launched this campaign in the year 2015. Since then, the different industries started realizing the value of digital platforms. The government support given to the country, including opportunities for training for students (as mentioned earlier) is like a cherry on top.
The Demonetization of Rs.1000 and Rs.500 banknotes also triggered this movement. People started relying on digital methods of payments. This happened due to the shortage of physical notes and hours of standing in line outside the banks. Apps like Paytm Wallet and Apple Pay started becoming the new normal.
The introduction of “Jio” by Reliance industries also contributed to digitalization. Reliance offered Jio sims at a very low price when compared to its competitors. There were free offers along with Jio. The people started shifting to Jio sims. Free/ cheaper internet plans led to higher usage of social media. The people who once had 0 access to the internet now have easy access to it at a very low rate.
India has the highest users of Facebook (+335 million people). The internet population of India is 687.6 million, which is around 41% of the total population. The country has only seen growth in this industry. According to reports, the advertisement through only mobiles and tablets rose to 200%.
A report by IAMAI focused on how rural India has more internet users (227 million active users) than in the urban cities for the first time.
These reports and numbers show a clear growth in digital marketing in India.
How is Digital Marketing the New Future?
“Shift to digital is an irreversible change in marketing landscape” – Digital Experts.
The GlobalWebIndex (2018) report- 54% of the consumers use social media to research products they want to buy.
Lyfemarketing (2018) reports- 71% of customers are expected to recommend a brand to their known-ones. This is if they’ve had a positive experience with social media marketing of a brand.
Fourcommunications (2018) report-49% of the customers rely on the product recommendations of the influencers.
Do these statistics answer the above question? Well, the answer is yes. We can all agree with the statement that digital marketing is the new future. Experts themselves have said that there once a company adopts digital marketing there is no going back.
The scope of digital marketing in India is rapidly increasing. In fact, after looking at the above statistics and analyzing the different campaigns carried out, the future of digital marketing in India seems very bright. The start-ups try not to engage in offline marketing. Even the retailers who have not shifted to online marketing are being forced to do so due to the current crisis.
Coronavirus has severely impacted many industries all over the world. But on the brighter side, digitalization is going to speed up post-COVID. Whether it is SMEs, start-ups, or large companies, the business world realizes the importance of digital innovation. Even though the future is very unpredictable, this industry is surely expected to see a hike.
Business Developer, Certified Inbound Marketing Expert | Co-Founder & CEO at XakBoX Digital Marketing. Skilled in Business Planning, Start-up Ventures, UI Designing, and Mobile Application Development.
About XakBoX Digital Marketing Studio
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We offer Digital Marketing services that help business websites increase their organic search score drastically in order to compete for the highest rankings even when it comes to highly competitive keywords.
XakBoX is a Google Partner & Hubspot certified Digital Marketing Agency in India. We help you in building a base platform to start out your online marketing campaigns by creating quality websites and mobile applications, then attract and connect with your targeted audiences through Content Marketing, SEO, and Online Advertising. Our mission is to serve our customers as our dedicated business partners. Your success is our passion. All the marketing strategies we create are designed with the results in mind. We strive to give a competitive advantage and produce measurable outcomes in all of our efforts. Our Digital Marketing team has years of experience in Inbound Marketing methodologies and we are Google Certified Partner in Online Advertising, which enables us to deliver not only just conventional websites but also Growth-Driven Websites which convert visitors into leads.