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People access Facebook 2.4 times more than Twitter and 2.0 times more than YouTube: Kirthiga Reddy

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MUMBAI: It's very easy to overlook a fundamental fact about brands: people bring brands to life - not companies. Brands aren't to be found in the factory or in the studio and much less in the balance sheets, but in the minds of consumers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders. In a sense a brand is a public object - and the strongest brands are those whose consumers feel a real sense of ownership: 'That's My Brand'. In other words, a brand exists only in people's mind. So today what is driving people's mind? Who is moving people? Where is it they go before they make a decision?

How often today do we hear in our day to day conversation that 'On my Facebook account I read this.’ Is it really one's Facebook account, does anybody really own it? It's just a successful evolution of a brand that someone feels her or his Facebook account is her or his?

People today are driven by a small screen which moves along, supplies content on demand and reacts as per the personality of its owner. A personalised interactive medium called 'Mobile'. "The world is not going mobile, it has gone mobile" says Facebook India MD Kirthiga Reddy. She shares some verified data, "More than 142 million people access Facebook every month in India through any of the access points of which 133 million log in via mobile devices. More than 69 million people get on Facebook every day, 64 million of them through mobile."

So there is a humongous amount of interaction which happens daily and it happens all across India. "The diversity of Facebook is also an important factor. The data confirms that Facebook has a very strong pan India reach and this perception that Facebook is only an urban Smartphone product is not true. What we found is for every urban user there are two from other parts of India which shows a very strong distribution of people," asserts Reddy.

Facebook in association with IMRB has done a study which shows, "63 per cent people on Facebook use 3G connections and 37 per cent use a 2G connection to access Facebook. 70 per cent people on Facebook own a Smartphone; 88 per cent use a prepaid connection." Despite having such high numbers which are real by nature and not sampled or extrapolated, the investment on mobile, social media and digital is far from premium. Digitally born entrepreneur The Viral Fever founder Arunabh Kumar paints the scenario in the best possible way. He says, "The ad spend on a digital video which reaches to at least 15 times more number of people when compared to TV actually is equal to one meal catering spend of a television commercial (TVC) shoot."

Kirthiga Reddy also echoes same sentiments, but she speaks in terms of time investment of brands. "There is a big delta when it comes to how much time brands are spending on mobile and how much time people are spending on mobile" she says. As a frontrunner of the digital wave, Facebook has taken on multiple responsibilities of educating the ecosystem and the study is one of them, "Our intention through this study is to educate people about what people are doing on Facebook, on mobile, and how this information can help them move the business fast and bridge the gap between how much time people are spending on mobile and how time the brands are investing on mobile. We invest heavily on education as this new platform needs some educating. Late last year we rolled out a multi module educating program Blueprint in association with our partners," she further adds.

Blueprint is a new education program that trains agencies, partners and marketers on how to use Facebook, so they can create better campaigns that drive business results. Combining online courses, in-person training and certification Blueprint offers training from campaign optimisation, how to use video on Facebook, to effective ad measurement solutions. The Blueprint program features 34 online courses under various categories such as Facebook pages, targeting, buying and managing your ads, campaign optimisation, insight and Instagram. "Since March 2015, more than 175,000 people have taken more than 500,000 course enrolments. India ranks as the second largest country signing onto Blueprint. The top five countries include the US, India, Egypt, Brazil and the UK," informs the Facebook India team.

Platforms such as Facebook are also used to target people in TV dark areas, informs Reddy. She cites a case study on Nestle Everyday Whitener. "Nestle wanted to target people from media (traditional media) dark areas of the northeast. One creative was created for smartphones and another one was created for feature phones. The creatives drove that brand association and emotion to the end consumer, which later translated to positive results. This is an example of brands leveraging benefits of Facebook's pan India presence."

The brand interaction with this disrupting social media platform is also happening in India  feels Reddy, "Three years back,if we were having this conversation, I would have only spoken about global case studies. I did not have a single India example to share," says she. "But today we have so many examples across all the verticals, so the explosion is already happening. In the past also we saw when TV came in and print was there, it took its time," she informs further.

As per the FICCI - KPMG 2016 report, TV witnessed ad spends of Rs 542.2 billion (Rs 54,220 crore) which means a 14.2 per cent growth from the previous year. Whereas the growth rate of digital advertising which witnessed a spend of Rs 60.1 billion (Rs 6,010 crore) is an overwhelming 38.2 per cent. The same report projects a 15.1 per cent growth of television despite all the digital disruption and OTT emergence. The projected spend is believed to reach Rs 617.0 billion (Rs 61,700 crore). Digital is set to see a Rs 20 billion (Rs 2,000 crore) more spends as the projected figure for 2016 is Rs 81.1 billion (Rs 8,110 crore) which means a 33.5 per cent growth.

So is it TV versus mobile? "We say it's TV plus mobile," says the Facebook India MD. But, at the same time she believes mobile has an upper hand, "Mobile is a screen kept close to you while TV is kept far with many distractions in between. A study shows that mobile has 82 per cent higher retention rate and 79 per cent lower distraction rate than any other screen," she asserts. On TV there is a fight amongst brands to buy a prime time slot which shoots the 10 second ad rate sky high. "People are on Facebook throughout the day which means the brands no longer need to wait for the evening prime time to connect with people they can connect throughout the day," says Reddy. "There are definitely key advantages when it comes to mobile. Mobile is a medium of discovery, mobile is a medium of personalisation it is a one screen one person platform which allows you to target individually, send the right message to the right person. You are seeing the kind of businesses that you can get, it gives you many opportunities which TV doesn't, be it a whole day phenomenon or targeting," she further sheds light on the advantages of mobile.

Facebook has a strong ethos when it comes to value for money or return on investment or ROI, "We believe whenever a client pays a rupee to Facebook, he could have paid the same for either a TV ad or print or any-other medium. So what we promise is that a one rupee spend on Facebook is the most effective rupee spent by the client, that is what we want to strive for," informs Reddy.

Facebook is currently working with more than 85 per cent of Kantar’s reported top 100 advertisers in India, which includes Unilever, P&G, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Amazon, Nestle, Reckitt Benckiser, Mondelez, and L'Oreal.  This also includes companies headquartered in India like Tata and ICICI Bank, India's largest private bank, eCommerce companies like Snapdeal, Flipkart, Ola, and new companies like Craftsvilla.com. In 2014 Facebook established the Facebook Client Council to learn more and develop better ad solutions.

The study had a few proud findings for Facebook and Reddy throws light on them, "People access Facebook 2.4 times more than Twitter and 2.0 times more than YouTube," says she while sharing India statistics.

Facebook is focusing on videos too, as there is no India data available when it comes to video consumption Reddy shares global figures, "Everyday there are more than 8 billion (800 crore) video views on Facebook, and more than 45 per cent of video viewing happens on mobile."

"We are seeing a trend, where communication is going visual and with that Facebook is evolving in terms of being a visual storytelling platform" she concludes.

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