Digital is pushing other mediums towards accountability

Brands will shift their spends on digital.

NEW DELHI: In the post-Covid2019 world, measuring the efficacy of advertising spends will become even more critical for companies as they navigate their recovery given the significant pressure of their cash flows and liquidity positions. How can the various M&E segments respond to these enhanced requirements on attribution? How can measurement become timelier and more precise for brands? Addressing these questions at the 21st edition of FICCI Frames, industry members discussed the ‘Attribution at the forefront of the conversation.’

GroupM South Asia president growth and transformation Tushar Vyas asserted, “We always say that half of the advertising is wasted but we don’t know which half, it’s a problem which keeps resurfacing in a new avatar even in the digital area. One of the reasons is because of the complexities associated with this area. There are issues like brand safety, ad frauds and many markets don’t have a set of common measurement across the various channel of mediums, even tonnes of data are making it more complex."

This year’s FICCI report released in March stated that in 2019, advertising grew by Rs 4000 crore but Rs 3700 crore were spent on digital and new media while the growth in traditional media was only Rs 300 crore.

BARC CEO Sunil Lulla shared that the pandemic has shifted the consumption pattern of content across mediums. He said, “I don’t think ROI has always been less important perhaps but what we have today is better measurability than ten years ago. We are still not there where a market has a unified independent measure, like on TV there is an independent measure, on digital, there are many digital providers.”

“There used to be conversation on digital vs television but the consumer is shifting from one screen to another. In the pandemic, we have seen a steep rise in TV consumption in certain categories such as kids, news and movies. As there was no original content, people started watching repeated content and Doordarshan became the no.1 channel after 1986, and digital was moving in parallel. TV is equally important that’s why July has the same volume as in January. TV is good for building brands, it’s good for targetting an entire family and digital is good for sharp targetting,” he added.

Due to Covid2019 print and radio took a much bigger hit. “I believe when the economy opens up fully, we could see all these mediums working in a better partnership that can be a big outcome from this period,” Lulla opined.

The panellists echoed that due to Covid2019 there are higher chances of brands shifting their spends to the digital landscape.

Vyas said, “Advertisers are going to follow where the consumers are going. It’s all about building an entire connected environment where you’re linking the consumer to commerce.  The focus is shifted more from output to outcome now. Earlier the conversation was about reach and frequency which is now moving to a different level. The conversation today is more about what it is going to do to my business or brand. That’s the change which digital is bringing, which is resulting in that kind of accountability from other mediums as well.”

Vyas stressed that it’s important to build a first-party data ecosystem and knowing the consumer in-depth from their perspective.

“As an industry, we need to work together on how we report and agree on the metrics. We need some common practices to build these measurements, and then agree to the standardisation of data, and as time goes by, AI and MI can supplement these data,” he said.

He also said that agencies will always require the TV medium. Said Vyas: “Parties can’t do without TV because it’s the entertainment and information medium of the household and digital is for the individual.”

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