12 July 2020 05:00


Key Highlights from 2019 for the Marketing Industry

1) User generated content

Growing use of social media platforms has led to the creation of bloggers and influencers – and they exercise great control over consumer’s purchasing behaviour. Before any purchase, most consumers will read reviews, watch comparative videos, and refer to their trusted online personalities for advice. User generated content is the modern-day word of mouth, where reviews of your product or brand is the selling factor in the market. An example of this in Indian context is the growth of online make up platform, Nykaa that gained a million followers primarily from user generated content. Most of these were authentic users and the platform would receive heavy traffic and feedback on the live streams by experts. Marketers have come to realize that users drive more users. Focusing on improving and personalizing user experience with online or mobile platforms and taking their feedback will lead them to get more and authentic users.

2) Reducing consumer attention spans

With each passing year, more and more devices and applications are released having different content, creating and solving problems we didn’t even know existed. An average consumer lives in a heavily saturated media universe where attention is divided, and time span is less. Cognition researches in 2019 have revealed that a mobile ad is seen and decided upon by a viewer in the span of half a second, leaving marketers with just that much time to make a positive, lasting impact on their target audience. These researches have also pointed out key elements that help marketers in achieving this almost impossible feat. For example, the use of colours to generate certain emotions, or strategic placement of elements in the advertisement to draw attention. As the number of ‘distractions’ have grown on a user’s mobile screen, it has become increasingly difficult for marketers to grab and hold their attention, and marketers are exploring unique ways to do so.

3) Content is the key to personalization

In this mobile-driven era, content production for the ‘masses’ doesn’t work as well as it used to, and users look for personalized experiences. With every brand or application they interact with on their screens, users see or interact with the various campaigns launched by brands. Since the attention span of a consumer is so short, content plays a great role in grabbing and holding the attention of a consumer; simply put, the consumer must feel something when they come across a static image or a video. Market research has shown that the content of any advertising campaign, in terms of visuals, colour compositions, storyline, etc. create an emotional impact on the viewer, which could be positive or negative, but this impact is what marketers must aim at achieving with any campaign. Personalization is not only about a seamless user experience, but also what the user experiences on a deeper level. The impact of a campaign will be what a user will associate the brand with, which will lead to customer brand loyalty in the long-term, and successful campaigns in the short.

4) Video leaves a greater impact

With emphasis given to content for personalized impact, it is easier to create emotional impact with motion rather than static images. A video, where content is not restricted to what is on screen for one frame, but expands to music, motion graphics, sound, etc., is more successful in grabbing the attention of a person scrolling through their feeds. It has also been seen that ads that auto play on a social media feed are more likely to be watched over more. A picture is still worth a thousand words, but it is easier to leave a lasting emotional impact through videos. Consumers find it easier to relate to a video more than a static image, and will usually watch it entirely regardless of the time length, once it has managed to grab attention successfully in the first second – which further helps to cement in personal impact or connection that the brand is aiming to establish with their viewer.

5) Brand Safety gaining traction

While brands and marketers can brainstorm and innovate new ways to reach new audiences, all their efforts would amount to nothing if their ads don’t reach the right audience the right place and at the right time. Even though digitization and technology has enabled brands and given them multiple methods to be able to be exactly where their target audience is at any given time, the era and practice of programmatic buying has eradicated transparency and authenticity in the measurement of digital marketing campaigns. It is not uncommon that marketers have minimal knowledge of the originality or authenticity of their click through rates, page or ad views, app downloads, etc. for digital ad campaigns. This is due to the sheer lack of transparency in the industry between brands and vendors. Industry researches have shown that Indian marketers on average spend more than the Asiatic region on ad fraud, and India in 2018 accounted for 8.7% of global ad fraud expenditure as well, which has finally led to them giving ad fraud the emphasis it needs.


Authored by Moneka Khurana, Country Head, MMA India

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