Report on Hindi News Viewership

GUEST COLUMN: Paradox of Choice - How to influence consumers to pay attention to your brand

Understanding the changing consumer trends and the way ahead

Mumbai: Twenty-four hours in a day and a zillion media choices to be made! This is the new regular day in the life of a consumer.

From numerous apps to dime a dozen platforms along the consumer journey, audiences and advertisers are facing a present-day that is rife with limitless choices. Why? But of course, thanks to the internet, data, technology, and personalisation - things we have all become accustomed to. But there is a subtle undercurrent these trends ride on the back of - a paradox of choices!

The internet has increased connectivity, and penetration is only expected to scale higher with time. The pandemic is accelerating pre-existing industry trends and altering consumer behaviours. In the context of the visual culture, we live in, courting the consumer with packaged and positioned choices is the first step, in the series of many, on the path to forging long-term relationships with them. And this journey is full of the subtle art of choosing.

Evolving M&E landscape

With the growth of the Indian digital segment, Television, online video, and social media are emerging as the top entertainment media. According to IBEF, internet browsing has gone up by 64 per cent with increased uptake of news, music, and AVGC. There is a marked shift from offline to online consumption for news with 45-minutes to an hour spent on news on social media and apps.

Content to Commerce is the new consumer purchase journey. With cumulative time spent over two and a half hours per day, Indians are flocking to their social media accounts and consuming content in genres of news, comedy, the art of cooking, and culture. Then there is influencer-led content and shoppable ads here to delight consumers through the journey of content consumption across social channels.

OTT Triggered Growth

OLV and OTT platforms have witnessed a meteoric rise as the new entertainment destination. As per a report by Deloitte, popular platforms have garnered a 45-55 per cent increase in paid subscriptions after the outbreak of the pandemic with audiences spending 95-minutes daily on OTT channels. Rising demand for content and affordable subscription packages has triggered this growth. AVOD segment is anticipated to grow more by 2025. Vernacular adoption has also been accelerated during the pandemic and the momentum is here to stay with more than 13 per cent growth as compared to pre-Covid-19 levels, mostly from the hinterland of India.

E-commerce Search Engines

E-commerce and social apps are changing how consumers discover new products. Influencers have emerged as the new brand ambassadors and have evolved as a new marketing channel from discovery to conversion. Video commerce and social commerce are key and emerging conversational commerce-enabling brands are driving their D2C model through messaging apps like WhatsApp that the consumer is already acquainted with and uses extensively.

The influx of short-form video apps is a testimony to this growth. Current statistics show that Indians spend five times more time on homegrown short video apps than global Instagram reels and YouTube shorts. Apps like Trell, Chingari, Sharechat, Roposo, etc. trail only Google and Facebook ecosystem in terms of time spent by Indians. Voice-based technology is breaking the literacy barrier in India. Searches on voice are expected to grow to 50 per cent, a 10x Increase in multilingual voice assistants is expected.

All of the above trends indicate that the touchpoints to expose a probable consumer to a product have exploded. Meticulous decisions are required by industry mavens to validate the choices they make on one end. On the other, the consumer is scavenging for informed, yet simple choices to make better decisions, faster.

For instance, at OMD, we balance the act with attention planning. In a world that is chaotic with choices, brands and advertisers need to be present on platforms their audiences are – adapting to consumer sentiment, being nimble, and providing a media mix of digital solutions to brands not hinged on a tall order but realistic metrics - distinctive packaging to cut through the clutter with creativity. After all, with the impact that the pandemic has had on inventory and ad rates, 2022 in the advertising world is going to be more about influencing the consumer to pay attention to your brand versus competitors and the journey will be interesting.

(Sulina Menon is the chief client officer at OMD India. The views expressed in this column are personal and Indiantelevision may not subscribe to them.)

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