Business Standard reported today that the advertisement expenditure (adex) of the digital media (which includes internet and mobile medium) has increased by 74 per cent to Rs 680 crore in 2008-09, according to a survey conducted by Group M.

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Some of the factors adding to this growing trend has been:

  • Growth in the size of the internet users.
  • Price factor of ads being sold in the marketplace in terms of CPC, CPM, CPA etc.
  • Good return on investment which in turn shows the accountability of the medium.
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So all fine at this side of the park. More so, if we peg traditional mass media like television, print & radio, the digital media will see a growth of 25 per cent this year as compared with just 7 per cent for TV and a fall to (-)2 per cent and (-)4 per cent for newspapers and magazines, respectively.

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More so, recently according to a report, Indian largest car manufacturer, Maruti has gained 17-18% of sales from digital marketing  efforts which were mere 2-3% in 2005.

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So everything look perfect in favor of digital media if we balance these stats. But wait! The question at the top of my mind is – Are all these stats good enough to prove that Digital Media is heading towards a bright possibility to churn traditional spenders into digital mileage?

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Though it may take some rocky years to achieve that and we are still in the lookout for those heady examples which showcase that Indian advertisers have taken this medium under its stride; till then we have to first of all understand couple of things as far as I see it:

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1. How many actually are there in this medium (primarily internet) – is it 81 million, 45 million ….. We need some sort of authority or organization like eMarketer, ComScore etc to validate that. Though here we have IAMAI or IMRB International‘s I-Cube but still we haven’t reached at a consensus. This would be very important in terms of going forward.

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2. Lack of Intfrastructure: Going forward this can be only roadblock to the Indian Digitization. But looking at the India election 2009, I think we will do much progress in these fields. At least, my fingers are crossed.

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3. Web Standards: Going forward, I believe we will require more standardization of ad networks in terms of what kind of ads are being served and in what format, what sort of analytics is good enough to calculate ROI of campaigns etc are required. Though most developed markets are grappling with the same naked truth but India should make break through on similar lines since we missed catching up with the digitization after dotcom bust.

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4. Further more, I miss one thing in the report from GroupMcategorization of digital spend in terms of search ads, classified, display & mobile ads. This can give us a better picture as to where the shift is going to take place. Though I peg Indian digital market is set for mobile ads and networks but we would need more than just the 37 million+ mobile market we are looking at. Though more nitty-gritty is involved in that sort of advertising.

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So as far as status-quo is concerned, everything’s shiny for digital media and the money that is being plugged into the system which will definitely see a boom as we speak but to make every dime worth its salt we need more than just these percentages.

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