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Ad industry not kept pace with consumer and digital changes

Digital will replace print as the second largest medium in 3 years.

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MUMBAI: The last decade has been disruptive for media, advertising and marketing with the evolution of digital. However, Sam Balsara, the veteran in advertising industry, feels that media buying has not been able to keep pace with that change. He also said that the currency that really should be looked at from marketing point of view is cost per unit of brand outcome rather than CPRP or CPT.

Throwing light on the magnitude of the change, Balsara said that the advertising market has tripled in size in the last ten years, moving up from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 61,000 crore in 2018. He also added that the growth came on the back of digital while the share of the digital medium itself has reached 19 per cent from merely four per cent ten years back. According to him, digital will replace print as the second largest medium in the next two to three years.

“The only thing that has not changed, I will say regretfully, is the way media buyers and media agencies buy media. It has, probably, not changed as dramatically as the media scene has,” Madison World chairman Sam Balsara commented in a session “Advertising, Media, Marketing: #10yearChallenge” on the third day of FICCI FRAMES 2019 while highlighting all the changes in the last decade.

Ultratech joint executive president, marketing head Ajay Dang also expressed his concern on the same. Dang seemed sceptic about whether the industry, including creative agencies, marketers, content generators, has been able to keep pace with audience evolution. He also expressed his concern about the industry’s understanding of the needed change in storytelling and measuring the reach of the story to the final audience.

“We are constantly in a phase of catch-up, we are falling behind. That’s my take. Because of our lack of putting it all together, at the end of the day our return on investment that we are supposed to deliver to our organisations is suffering,” he commented.

Balsara also spoke on the “democratisation of advertising”. While the top 50 advertisers accounted for as high as 43 per cent of total adex in 2009, the number came down to 35 per cent last year thanks to the huge growth of regional brands.

“We have to look at efficiency, effectiveness and innovation. I think today we are in a scenario where there is democratisation of data as well and data is threatening to become a deluge to drown companies if they do not do something about it. That’s largely becoming a priority for us to take up now,” Marico media and digital marketing head Ankit Desai said.

BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta also pointed out the lack of talent in terms of media analytics tool. While sectors like BFSI and telecom have data analytics talent but in media finding people who understand the media domain and the big data tools of analytics is a big problem.

It was also noted in the session that the FMCG brands are ever-inclined to TV despite the rapid growth of digital growth. On the issue of bias towards TV, experts think as the communication journey of many companies has been built around the medium over all these years, TV still plays the role for audience aggregator for these brands. However, it has also been said that the shift towards other mediums like digital has started.

Viacom18 Hindi Mass Entertainment & Kids TV Network head Nina Elavia Jaipuria concluded the session calling for unity among all three parties including the media owner, advertiser and the media agency. She said that there is a need for all three to come together as the common goal is to drive market share for brands but sometimes a conflict of interest is good for the growth of the business.

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