September 7, 2015

Why the Online Advertising (SEM.PPC) is unable to see a galloping growth in India?

Were you frequently pissed off to read newspapers cluttered with lengthy versions of already known stories dished out by some self-righteous johnny on TV channels? Indian journos have made the social media, particularly Twitter, their core source of news-leads, beyond what they are handed out by their media owners on orders from the above. Media chaos & clutter have become insufferable burden in India. Who could be in mood for looking at advertisements and moved by them? Therefore it can be safely concluded that the remaining 50% of the Advertising budget is also going down the drain along-with the first half.

Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube & Instagram are fast emerging as the new media for targeting the youth but still the online advertising don’t seem to pick up at a scorching speed that it must. The mainstream media of TV, Print & Radio in India continue to garner the lion’s share of the total advertising spend in India. These three could collectively walk away with Rs. 54, 320 crore in 2015 against Rs 47, 490 cr in the previous year.

Did you notice fewer advertising campaigns in the Print media in 2015 India? But you couldn’t blame anyone else for the virtual clampdown on the out of home media (OOH) in the name of clutter & safety. And surely you must have noticed majority of the urban consuming class, including you, diving into a smart phone, tablet or laptop trying to kick up a discussion or catching up with breaking news.  In nutshell, all the advertisers, media moghuls and marketing experts agree that the media consumption scene is undergoing a metamorphic transformation headed towards ascendancy of the online medium over the rest.

Despite mushroom growth of domestic Online Commerce platforms and entry of Amazon in India the online advertising category has not seen the kind of spectacular growth that it deserves & the economy of India needs.  Although overwhelming majority experts & industry agree that digital advertising can target customers more efficiently than the traditional but still vast majority of advertisers have not begin to leverage its potential. Although the industry watchers forecast that this space may grow much beyond anticipated 15-20% in 2015. Let’s hope it happens for the good of India economy.

Could you tell the single major factor responsible for the poor growth of digital advertising in India? Well most would have guessed it right. It’s the Indian advertising agencies that failed to adapt to the changing media environment and create capacities & skills to guide the advertisers to go online. I wonder if you could guess the second factor that is equally responsible for slack growth in this category. Think of the profile of Indian Entrepreneur in MSME and Large & Medium sector. The lack of education and attitude towards technology of Indian Businessmen has stifled the growth of digital advertising in India.

But the single most blameworthy player in the entire saga, I call it the Gabbar in the story, is the advertising agencies that were born to handle traditional print and audio-visual media but lack the knowledge & skills to execute a great digital campaign. In my opinion the digital advertising in India would not grow at the desired pace till a new type of advertising agencies are born that understand the complexities of this exciting & economical medium.

Let’s hope Sundar Pichai & Satya Nadella could step forward and offer customized programs to educate the existing and new advertising agencies in India in the domain of digital advertising. 

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