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For brands, localised digital content is the way to go: WATConsult's Heeru Dingra

Dingra talks in details about ‘Digital, Diverse & Multilingual India’ report

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NEW DELHI: One of the most interesting outcomes of the digital revolution in the marketing space has been an increase in the volume and popularity of content created in local languages. In turn, this has not only got more and more people interested in digital content, but also sizeably helped marketers target their communication better. Therefore, to understand the magnitude of evolving consumer trends in this space, WATConsult, a hybrid marketing agency from the house of dentsu International, conducted a unique research called ‘Digital, Diverse & Multilingual India’. 

Research is the most crucial step for the marketing and advertising world, believes WATConsult CEO Heeru Dingra. Said she, “With the rise of digital marketing and phenomenal advancements in programmatic targeting, online ads can now be shown to a specific and relevant set of the audience only, saving resources and generating a much higher chance of interaction. The findings of this report can help further customise these ads as it provides language preferences and internet usage patterns for the audiences, among other things.”

The next fundamental step is: know your audience. Dingra explained: “The report delves into and tries to uncover the behaviour of the audience with respect to a specific aspect – language preferences while consuming content, shopping online or simply browsing the internet. These insights can help the agencies and brands tailor their communications in accordance with their targeted audience’s preferences. The research helps you better know your audience and that is always desirable to the brands and the agencies.” 

According to her, the insights of the report have the potential to create a much more comprehensive picture if viewed in conjunction as well as in comparison. 

Perhaps the most interesting and unusual finding of the study was that it estimated close to 70 per cent of all internet users will access the internet in their local language by the end of 2020. “The research also resulted in detailing out different sets of the audience consuming video content on varying video streaming applications. These apps have contributed substantially to the growth of the mobile application market, facilitated greatly by the advent of 4G and inexpensive handheld devices,” added Dingra.

As per the report, 73 per cent of the audience belonging to the age group of 45-54 years use YouTube to watch online content, so does 30 per cent of the audience belonging to small metros and the top four cosmopolises. The younger audience (under 18 years) however, use video streaming apps like Hotstar, Amazon Prime, along with YouTube to consume content in the local language. Housewives, being an essential audience group in themselves, prefer to use YouTube to watch online video content. 

The report also highlighted that people prefer to consume video content on technology, dadgets, fashion and sports in English. 

On being asked how this information can help content creators, Dingra elaborated, “The audience prefers to watch video content on food, entertainment and education mostly in the local language, because for most people educational content becomes easier to understand and entertaining videos become vastly more enjoyable when consumed in one’s regional language. For most, no such feelings are associated with the video content on technology, gadgets, fashion and sports. They are purely for gathering information or gaining hard knowledge, which is why English comparatively prevails as the preferred medium. It basically boils down to knowing one’s content, one’s audience and ultimately what the audience wants, wherein this report might be able to lend a helping hand.”

The research for the report was undertaken using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Firstly, a quantitative survey was conducted among a sample size of 1474 respondents, which was followed by in-depth interviews with the industry stakeholders in addition to qualitative interviews amongst consumers. Stratified random sampling across age groups, genders, occupations, zones and town classes was used to gather the required data. The research duration was from April 2020 to June 2020.

Including respondents from different zones of the country viz. north, south, east and west, the research was conducted in towns and cities classified as the top four metros (i.e. Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai), next five metros (i.e. Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Surat) and small metros (i.e. cities with a population between one million to four million). The age group of the respondents was rather expansive, ranging from below 18 years old to above 55 years old, belonging to various occupations – housewives, students, working professionals, etc. The profile of the users was based on internet usage in the local language and accessing it mostly on mobile phones.

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