IMPACT takes a look at the major trends that will shape the media, advertising and marketing industry in the year ahead
The year 2017 was an eventful year for the Media, Marketing and advertising industry. The impact of demonetization and the introduction of GST presented challenges for the domain, but going by what industry veterans say, 2018 looks poised to be a very good year. At the centre of this growth is Digital. According to a report by Swedish telco giant Ericson, the monthly data consumption on every smartphone in India stood at approximately 3.9GB in 2017 and is set to grow phenomenally in 2018. Media consumption on mobile will drive brands, agencies and media platforms to devise more creative ways of leveraging the power of the smallest screen effectively. The Television sector will see increased advertiser spends and growth in high double-digits. However, all eyes will be on the FTA space; EKAM, BARC’s digital measurement service and TRAI’s tariff order. On the marketing front, 2018 will be all about customer experience. Big data and predictive analysis will continue to play a critical role in anticipating consumer requirements and behaviour, thereby enabling brands to create targeted campaigns. At a time when data is becoming bigger than ever, 2018 will see micro-targeting of consumers reflecting even in creative work. Shorter, snappier ad films will replace the long format advertisements and brands will look to their creative partners to curate consumer experiences. On the media agency front, ad spends will remain stable and there will be greater consolidation across domains. The Print industry looks forward to 2018 becoming a year of remonetization, with regional players expected to see greater growth. The upcoming release of IRS is expected to be the icing on the cake for the Print domain. Digital is the buzzword as Radio looks to transform into an interactive medium with platform agnostic content to reach a wider audience base. The OOH industry is looking forward to a better year than 2017, with a projected growth of as much as 20%. On the Events & Experiential front, an increased audience interest in newer experiences and the growing number of sports and live events will drive growth. The year 2018 will also shape up to be the year that PR agencies go beyond traditional tools and media to devise channel agnostic campaigns and engage their audiences with greater creativity.
A YEAR OF DIGITISATION, STABILITY AND GROWTH
With the challenges of demonetisation and GST becoming a thing of the past, media agencies are looking forward to a year of growth. Year 2018 looks poised to become one of stability, with digitisation across every media space and greater consolidation in all domains. Measurement will also take centre stage in 2018 as all eyes will be fixed on BARC’s digital measurement matrix.
BY CHRISTINA MONIZ
DIGITAL AS A WAY OF DOING BUSINESS
While everyone has been talking about digital, this year will be the real tipping point where the survival of agencies will depend on how digitally invested and learned they are. The lines between digital and everything else will blur as every media space gets digitised. Digital will in fact cease to be a medium and instead become a way of doing business. Reservation buys on digital will also give way to programmatic.
BIGGER AD SPENDS
As per Zenith’s recent Ad Expenditure Estimates, India ranks #4 among the Top Ten Contributors to global ad spend growth between 2017 and 2020. If that is anything to go by, 2018 will be a good year and Dentsu Aegis Network projects a growth of around 12%. Consumer confidence is definitely on the rise. The big drivers in ad spends will be FMCG, Auto, BFSI, Travel & Tourism, E-commerce and Political Advertising. Regional media, particularly Print will see significant growth and expansion. The Indian Premier League (IPL), acquired by Star, is likely to be a far bigger property this year, with airings in regional languages and digital streaming on Hotstar. Regional advertisers and local brands may make their presence felt on the national stage.
DIGITAL MEASUREMENT TO TAKE CENTRE STAGE
Measurement will take centre stage as ROI becomes central to marketers. At present the currencies for each medium are quite different due to the unavailability of standard multimedia measurement. However, going forward, media agencies with their expertise in data and analytics, will play a big role in helping clients drive the best ROI. BARC has done a commendable job so far with TV measurement and it is expected that its digital measurement will help bring the different screens (laptops, TV, phones etc.) under a unified measurement matrix. This will also help in understanding the combined impact of all the viewing screens – something that will be critical in 2018.
ALL-ROUND GROWTH FOR MEDIA
Unlike the rest of the world, India will be a unique market where all media will see growth, albeit at different rates. While in the past, every medium would grow at similar rates, going forward, the range will significantly widen. Some media may grow at only 1-2%, while other media may grow at 30%. There will also be increased adoption of Native Brand content.
FAST-TRACK GROWTH FOR E-COMMERCE
India’s consumption story will pick up in 2018 and e-commerce will be an industry to watch out for. Thanks to the boost from increasing smartphone penetration and affordable data services, there is a huge shift in shopping behaviour as it increasingly tilts towards online platforms. Moreover, e-commerce is drawing users from India’s next-tier towns, where brick-and-mortar stores are yet to acquire a sizeable footprint. E-commerce remains one of the fastest-growing sectors in terms of advertising spends currently, and it is expected to be the fastest growing for the next few years.
CONSOLIDATION AS THE ORDER OF THE DAY
In the long run, there may not be space for more than three to four players in each genre. Thus, consolidation is inevitable and this trend will play out in both Print and OOH.
ACCOUNTABILITY & OUTCOME
Agencies will have to start bringing greater accountability in terms of showing their investments for the client. Brands will now ask agency partners to showcase ‘outcome’ rather than just the ‘output’ of their campaigns. There will be growing individual activism against brand communication that isn’t based on evidence and science. This would mean that messages to consumers from brands will be far more real in 2018.
RADIO: TAKING THE DIGITAL ROAD
Digital is the buzzword as radio looks to transform into an interactive medium with platform agnostic content to reach a wider audience base
By Simran Sabherwal
The growth of radio will be backed by the digital wave in the country. The digital medium will drive traditional radio, as radio networks continue to expand their online and digital presence by leveraging newer technologies to suit changing consumer demands. The power of digital will be leveraged not just for content creation but for curation and consumption as well. For example, with the rising trend of podcasting, radio stations can get their listeners to tune in to their on-demand audio content. Other innovative practices in digital such as video-based content, will also aid radio stations in capturing the attention of their target audiences online.
STORY-TELLING & ORIGINAL CONTENT
Radio networks will deliver engaging content in captivating formats using platform agnostic content. In 2018, the story-telling trend is set to gain attention and will be presented in multiple genres ranging from horror to romance to real-life inspiring stories. Moreover, to create a distinct positioning, radio stations will create original songs for campaigns and festive spikes and this will continue to gain momentum right through the year. An original anthem for the station will help bring listeners closer to the essence of the brand and draw attention to the messaging, while engaging them with something that is refreshing and unique.
RJS AS INFLUENCERS
Radio stations and radio personalities will continue to play an important role in shaping public opinion. RJs will increasingly be viewed as influencers; providing content in an informative manner, from both a content and commercial point of view.
While 2017 saw celebrities like Annu Kapoor, Karan Johar, and Salim Merchant don the RJ’s hat, this trend is set up to pick up in 2018, with celebrities turning RJs, in order to connect with their fans using an alternative medium and keep them entertained.
MARRIAGE OF RADIO + SOCIAL MEDIA
Engaging listeners via social media platforms will add value to their online presence. This will drive the transformation of radio from a listener-only platform to an experiential and digital multimedia platform. This joint engagement of radio + social media will be more valuable than traditional radio’s mass reach.
With the upswing in the economy, increased rates are in the offing for 2018. However, radio needs to find a way to enhance on-air value without killing operating profits through costly activations. Engaging with listeners through mobile and monetizing this platform will be key.
MAKE WAY FOR SHORTER, SNAPPIER VIDEOS
At a time when data is becoming bigger than ever, 2018 will see micro-targeting of consumers reflecting even in creative work
By Neeta Nair
THE ROLE OF TELEVISION WILL CHANGE
The 10-20 second formats on Television will serve as trailers to lead people on to the Digital platform, where a long story resides. This becomes increasingly important in an age when people are paying money to not see advertising, resulting in a boom of platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
ADS WILL MAKE WAY FOR EXPERIENCES
Ads will take a backseat and ‘creating experiences for the consumer’ will take centre-stage. There will be a shift from ‘content’ to ‘experiences’ as the buzzword; and 2018 will see a lot of reinvention of the traditional goals of marketing.
SHORTER FORMAT VIDEOS
While 2016 and 2017 saw longer format videos come up in a big way, 2018 will see shorter format videos also waiting to make an impact on Digital. It would be a great fit for YouTube pre-rolls, which most consumers prefer to skip, anyway.
SPENDS WILL SHIFT TO DIGITAL IN A BIG WAY
Digital will see more experimental work continue. While TV will remain important, advertisers won’t mind going against the traditional norms to spend more on Digital because investments are much lower, and within that, social media will scale new heights
NO MORE WORKING IN SILOS
Creative agencies will not compartmentalize into specialized agencies, so much so that they find it difficult to respond to the change in the ecosystem. More than ever, agility will be needed to respond to the fast-changing demands, and this one can’t do working in silos.
OOH: 2018 COULD BRING AROUND 20% GROWTH
The Outdoor Advertising industry is hopeful for a better year, a year that could even see growth of up to 20% after the slower growth of around 10% in 2017.
BY SAMARPITA BANERJEE
SOP TO INCREASE OOH COMPLIANCE
The biggest news in the OOH industry in 2017 was the setting up of the long-anticipated standard operating procedure (SOP), aimed at consolidating the otherwise fragmented OOH industry. This step will not only help streamline the cash flow of the industry, but most OOH players are also hopeful that the SOP will get stronger in 2018, on the back of a higher level of compliance from the agencies, media owners and advertisers. The setting up of SOP is also expected to raise the confidence of advertisers in the domain, thereby ensuring a larger share of the advertising pie.
While the current uptake of Digital OOH in the country is sporadic, it is expected to increase in 2018. Disruptive technologies like Geo-fencing, Programmatic and Contextual Advertising are expected to capture the audience’s attention with more and more advertisers opening up to the idea of using these edgy technologies to amplify reach and effectiveness. This trend has already begun with the government of Delhi and Mumbai taking a keen interest in it.
DISRUPTIVE CAMPAIGNS TO RULE
An increased interest in DOOH is expected to bring about an influx of investments in setting up better infrastructure for the OOH industry. Moreover, experts believe that disruptive campaigns using technology to give campaigns an edge, will help them stand out and become the order of the day.
RISING IMPORTANCE OF UGC & REAL-TIME CONTENT
With screens becoming increasingly intelligent and integrated, the use of user generated content (UGC) and content created in real-time will help amplify the reach of the brand's social media platforms on Digital OOH screens.
DIGITAL PLATFORMS & CUSTOMISED CONTENT THE WAY FORWARD!
BY DIPALI BANKA
The year 2018 is expected be a year of remonetisation for the Print Industry. This will be a relief as compared to the last year, which saw tepid growth for the AdEx of the print industry with the implementation of GST and the follow-through impact of demonetisation. With the dust settling down on these regulations, the industry is looking forward to measured recovery on print ad spends. Regional language publications will continue to drive growth. Publications will focus on digital platforms to ensure that well curated content gets maximum reach. Collaboration of different formats is likely to work better. Release of IRS 2017 might just be the icing on the cake.
BIG DATA & CUSTOMISED CONTENT
Digital newspaper revenues in India are set for rapid growth. While digital news is bourgeoning, the struggle to get the business model right and monetise the segment intensifies. Adoption of latest technology such as Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) by media companies will become the norm in 2018. Customisation or personalised content will also see an upward trend in the coming years. While Big data can help understand consumer preferences better, AI can assist platforms to increase their reach and engagement by way of specifically catering to an individual’s needs with customised content. Publishers can use this analysis for sharper content strategy and planning.
Even as English publications struggle to keep pace with increasing consumption of smartphone and online content, regional language publications are set to grow on the back of a spurt in literacy levels and rising disposable levels. With the increasing mobile and broadband penetration in the country, publishing houses will increasingly take to catering to regional audiences online in multiple languages, in an effort to maximise reach and engagement.
As the war between print and digital intensifies, journalists will increasingly need to master multi-media skills to leverage existing print capabilities. The trend towards video content witnessed in 2017 will rise in 2018, with a need for media companies to increasingly offer diversified and collaborative content on multiple platforms. Publishers are already experimenting with short-format and long-format content, and will continue to associate with OTT platforms, streaming services and other channels, as well. This content collaboration will be key to delivering engaging content, while reinforcing consistent messaging across channels.
THE MEMES 2018
Ashni Biyani, Director, Future Ideas & Future Consumer Limited, talks about 10 memes that will influence India in 2018 in 'The Memes 2018' Report The Future Group has come out with a report, ‘The Memes 2018’, that talks about 10 memes that are expected to influence India in 2018. The memes are based on real time data gathered from over 400 million Indian consumers and a study conducted by the Memetic Institute at Future Ideas, which is a part of the Future Group.
The report covers 10 important areas that influence day to day life with topics like Parenting, Connected Consumers, Plural Identities, The New Adults: 18 In 2018, Increasing Consumption Of Chinese Products, Lonely Indians, The Rise Of Visual Language, Data Rich India, Nurturing Leadership and Boredom And Experience Seeking. Here are some highlights:
1. By 2025, 25% of those above 60 years and 40% of those above 70 years are likely to live alone
2. Sharenting is leading to the increasing hysteria of modern day parenting. ‘Mompreneurs’ are juggling small businesses with baby duties and Millennial dads are participating more intensely in the parenting process with new strategies and coping mechanisms.
3. 2018 is the year that India’s first generation to have been born in the 21st century entered adulthood; their boundless energy and ambition must be used to shape the future
4. Retailers need to cater to consumers who desire direct contact with the brand to shop almost anytime and from anywhere they are present.
5. Indians are leading multiple lives both in the virtual and real world, with many preferences and needs, unlike in the past.
6. Living in a digitized tribal village, images and emojis are the new body language representations to convey much more than words can.
7. The role of leaders now is not to battle and survive, but to make impact, change and grow.
8. The search for newer, multi-sensorial experiences, for escape from urban stress, for more genuine human connection, is perhaps the biggest growth market in the world today.
DIGITAL: THE MOBILE WAY OR THE HIGHWAY
BY ALLAN DSOUZA
The heated price wars between telcos in 2017 caused a sharp hike in mobile data consumption across the country. Swedish telco giant, Ericson in its Mobility Report stated that the monthly data consumption on every smartphone in India stood at approximately 3.9GB in 2017 and is set to grow phenomenally in 2018. With increased media consumption on mobile, brands, agency networks and online media platforms have their task cut out for them when it comes to giving the smallest screen the biggest chunk of their attention and creativity. With GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) increasing its focus on direct media sales the pressure on creative minds will further escalate giving a push to experiment with Voice, AR, VR, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, all without dropping the emphasis on content and context.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND LIVE CONTENT
Video dominated the digital media landscape in 2017, with global and home-grown content providers engaging in a battle royale for viewers and advertising revenue. While the OTT platforms continue flexing their content arms, brands will keep busy enjoying tools like Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Snapchat to engage viewers in real time, livening up the holistic brand experience. Consumers can look forward to more Snapchat filters from the likes of Dorritos and Amazon’s Insta stories promoting their ‘Great Indian Sale’ to populate their feeds in 2018. With more people consuming stories more than the actual feed, advertisers are bound to exploit the same.
DIGITAL ‘VOICE’ WILL ‘ECHO’
While Siri, Amazon Echo and Google Home are already giving marketers a platform to replace traditional search with an AI driven Voice alternative, 2018 will be the year when the effectiveness of the technology and its implementation will be truly tested. Language has for long been considered a challenge in India’s diverse market, but brands that walk the extra mile and integrate regional voice recognition to reap greater dividends. Advertising using Voice will lead marketers to a create practice and will bring new opportunities and challenges for the industry.
2018 will witness the trend of personalisation and behavioural analysis. As IoT goes mainstream, we can expect an increase in chat bots coming into play, not only as a medium of answering FAQs but smarter chat bots that help users understand, analyse or even buy products. With WhatsApp experimenting with their API (Application Programming Interface), the industry can expect to see a lot of chat bot-led initiatives soon. Smart social media strategies will further reinforce the reality of every device being a point of purchase and every browser being a potential customer.
AR & VR TO DOMINATE BRAND ENGAGEMENT
Brands like IKEA and Asian Paints created immersive campaigns last year using Augmented Reality (AR) and allowed users to test their products without actually having to walk into any of their stores. AR as a digital innovation will continue to be explored to enhance consumer engagement with brands. VR on the other hand will excite industries like entertainment, fashion and tourism that rely heavily on creating fulfilling brand experiences for users. With smartphones becoming even more affordable, AR and VR is touted as one of the top revenue drivers for all new video formats in 2018.
PROGRAMMATIC TO BECOME MORE POPULAR
Programmatic media buying won’t remain just a buzzword anymore, and will command a bigger share of the pie, as confidence in the market continues to increase. Retargeting, which was the primary objective of programmatic so far will evolve, and prospecting will become the prime focus in 2018. Using personalised ads to generate sales will become essential for different target audiences. With better attribution and measurement systems in place, programmatic buying and selling will see a wide adoption as it will help give brand marketers the visibility, data and detail they desire around their campaigns.
DIFFERENTIATED CONTENT AS KING
2017 was the year when advertisers took fancy to the term ‘Mobivity’ and encouraged their creative partners to push the boundaries of creativity on mobile. In 2018, mobile will further be integrated with other media and brands will look at small screen content in a sophisticated manner; exploring new topics, formats and content moments to reach out to their audience. Be it the use of rich media like AR, VR and AI or tools of marketing automations such as chat bots, brands will continue to strive on their content game as the mobile ad market looks to surpass Rs 3,500 crore.
TELEVISION : AN ACTION-PACKED YEAR
Increased advertiser spends could see the Television sector grow in high double-digits. However, all eyes will be on the FTA space; EKAM, BARC’s digital measurement service and TRAI’s tariff order
BY SIMRAN SABHERWAL
THE GROWTH DRIVERS
With eight State Legislative Assembly elections scheduled in 2018, and the General elections slated for 2019, 2018 promises to be an action-packed ‘newsy’ year and all channels, particularly news channels, will be looking to cash in on the expected political spending. Talking of spends, with as many as 16 automobile launches expected this year, the Auto sector will loosen its purse strings. In addition, FMCG, Telecom, Mobile handsets, BFSI, Retail and Government spends could drive ad spends. HD channels will continue to be an important driver at the top end of the pyramid, as more households are added to the Indian Television universe at the bottom. This expansion is likely to happen in the North and the East, where Television penetration is low; 2018 is also the year when broadcasters hope that the process of digitization, which started in 2013, will be complete with even the State of Tamil Nadu turning Digital.
DOUBLE DIGIT GROWTH IN AD SALES
The lag effects of demonetization and the implementation of GST hit the industry’s growth last year, but now green-shoots of the economy reviving are visible. Industry experts are optimistic about a significant jump in advertising revenue, resulting in a double-digit growth rate, anywhere from 12-20%, provided there isn’t another ‘googly’ thrown in by the Government. Though the first half will be decent, the growth from advertising in the second half of the year will be much bigger.
THE DISTRIBUTION PLAY
Distribution is an area to watch out for in 2018, as consolidation in the sector may be on the cards. All eyes will also be on the tariff order and interconnect regulations formulated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). If implemented in its current draft form, the entire Television broadcast scenario will undergo a humongous transformation, affecting channel pricing, bundling by networks and revenue prospects. However, one should consider how Sports as a category and the interconnected opportunity of distribution fare. While cricket will continue to rule, it will be interesting to see what Star India does with the Indian Premier League (IPL) and other sports in their bouquet, which will set the tone of things to come.
EKAM: THE GAME-CHANGER
A possible game-changer would be the release of EKAM, BARC’s digital measurement service, which will map video ads and content across Digital platforms. With EKAM Integra scheduled to provide common audience numbers (including Television and Digital video data), this could be a potential game-changer for all stake-holders, be it the platforms - broadcasters, OTT players, etc; content producers or advertisers.
LOCAL CONTENT TO EXPAND KIDS AUDIENCE BASE
The recent acquisition of a controlling stake in Cosmos-Maya by Emerald Media could signal the start of action in the Kids space with more mergers and acquisitions happening in the production space. While urban markets have played a decisive role in driving viewership, growth will be seen from the rural markets with the expansion of audience base on the back of innovation and increasing demand for local content.
FTA: RULING THE CHARTS
The year 2017 saw a big disruption in the Free-To-Air (FTA) space with Star India making the first move and launching a FTA sports channel, Star Sports First and following it up with a FTA Hindi GEC, Star Bharat. The Hindi GEC, in particular, quickly notched up the numbers and in a short time grabbed the top spot in the combined urban and rural market (U+R) as per BARC data. The blueprint for the FTA space will be laid out with FTA becoming the growth strategy to capture more assured eyeballs. One could expect to see more disruption in this space with consolidation. With FTA channels driving growth in 2017, the growth of mainline GECs was muted. However, this year you could expect GECs to fight back. Also, the Hindi TV movie space will see growth on the back of blockbuster launches.
NEW EXPERIMENTS IN CONTENT
Viewers can expect a lot more of new concepts as content creators will be forced to experiment and tell new stories. With an explosion of choices and avenues for contempt consumption, the battle for Television to capture audience attention with subjects that are relatable, topical and aspirational will continue. Finite series and big ticket impact shows are expected to bring in the eyeballs. TV content will need to have a universal, wholesome family appeal as a majority of households in India are still single TV households and consumption happens in the presence of the whole family; however, Television will gradually evolve into Television plus Digital media.
CONSOLIDATION ON THE CARDS
There could be more consolidation on the cards, particularly for long tail or laggard channels in highly cluttered genres.
From increased reliance on 360-degree marketing approaches to making the best use of influencers to deliver their brand messages, 2018 will be all about presenting audiences with more targeted, personalised messaging. And it will be customer experience that will be at the forefront of most marketing strategies
BY SAMARPITA BANERJEE AND NEETA NAIR
AI TO DRIVE PERSONALIZATION
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to help in driving personalised experiences. However, the ongoing discussion on intrusiveness and permission marketing might challenge its proliferation.
FROM DEALS TO INNOVATION IN E-COMMERCE
The e-commerce market is expected to grow and gradually move from price deals to value-added services. The industry is hopeful that this would help in bringing about more creative innovations, rather than disruption.
ONLINE PR, INFLUENCER AND BLOGGER MARKETING TO RISE
Online PR and Influencer Marketing will become an area of focus for an increasing number of brands. The role of bloggers in driving a brand’s marketing campaigns will increase with more people turning to the Internet for advice.
BIG DATA & PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS TO CHANGE THE MARKETING MIX
Sifting through Big Data for relevant consumer insights will play a critical role in anticipating user requirements to offer a more personalised experience. Data analytics will help marketers to better understand consumer behaviour exhibited at different stages of the entire customer journey, which will in turn help in making changes to the marketing mix.
TARGETED MARKETING FOR MILLENNIALS
A Morgan Stanley report says that India has the largest millennial population in the world, and it is only growing. The year 2018 will see more targeted marketing aimed at millennials who make up one of the most crucial target audiences of today.
360-DEGREE MARKETING APPROACH
Brands will increasingly adopt a 360-degree approach across mediums like TV, Print, Stills, Digital, Mobile, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Engagement Marketing. Going forward, leveraging interconnectedness of all mediums of engagement, while effectively communicating a message to the audiences will be key.
BLURRING THE URBAN-RURAL DIVIDE
The huge potential that rural and semi-urban markets present to marketers due to their growing spending power and increasing demands, will see the blurring of boundaries that divides the urban population from the rural. Some of India’s biggest cities are increasing at about 12% a year and marketers are hopeful that emerging cities will grow further. Owing to this trend, the year might see marketing strategies become more evolved as awareness levels in rural areas continue to rise. The marketing industry is hopeful that going forward, a major chunk of the revenue for companies will driven by semi-urban and rural towns.
CONSUMERS TO DRIVE NEW FORMS OF ENGAGEMENT
In an era where customers are constantly consuming information, it will become imperative for brands to devise effective and engaging content. Print as a medium has made a strong comeback, where one-way communication is still working effectively. However, for other media, the need of the hour is to understand how media consumption is changing, establish a conversation, build relationships and attract potential customers.
EXPERIENTIAL: VR, AI AND WEARABLE TECH TO DEFINE EXPERIENTIAL ECOSYSTEM IN 2018
For the rapidly-changing ecosystem of the experiential world, it’s all about embracing new horizons. A recent report by EY and EEMA suggested that the industry could cross the Rs 10,000 crore mark by 2020-21 and the healthy growth has a lot to do with the fact that the industry has been open to newer technologies. The increase in the number of sports leagues, live events and an increase in audiences’ interest in newer experiences is what will drive growth, feels the industry.
BY SAMARPITA BANERJEE
A UNIFIED ECOSYSTEM
Technology across the globe is evolving at a rapid pace, so much so that at times it gets outdated even before it gets validated. However, experiential marketing is fast moving towards a unified ecosystem wherein 2018 could be a year of data capture through live streaming, lead capture through wearable technology, registration through Smart TVs, etc.
‘INTERNET OF EVENTS’
While the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution has slowly been entering our lives, 2018 is expected to see increased implementation of IoT. More than just drones and RFIDs, however, we will increasingly see the use of beacons, wearable tech, artificial intelligence and sensor-activated experiences. Events that could connect audiences to all their devices, thereby making it easier to consume, understand and recall could soon be a reality ushering in the era of ‘Internet of Events’.
VIRTUAL REALITY IN EXPERIENCE MARKETING
Despite the fact that the events industry has had its fair share of Virtual Reality (VR) experiences, VR is still considered to be at a nascent stage in the country. However, this is set to change in 2018 with a new era of VR in experience marketing being ushered in, on the back of advancements in technology and more brands taking an interest in offering audiences an immersive experience.
PR: INTEGRATED CAMPAIGNS, DATA ANALYTICS AND DIGITAL ADVOCACY – THE WAY FORWARD FOR 2018
2018 will shape up to be the year that PR agencies go beyond traditional tools and media to devise channel agnostic campaigns and engage their audiences with greater creativity. As the importance of influencers becomes more apparent, agencies will need to look at digital advocacy in a big way to build and protect brand reputation in today’s crisis-prone environment.
By Christina Moniz
DATA AND ANALYTICS
Data and analytics leading to stronger insight-based outcomes for campaigns will be a key trend in 2018. Most companies will start using data in a big way for targeted outcomes and hyper localisation will drive this growth. Building predictive analysis capabilities will help PR professionals improve their ability to predict future trends while identifying how conversations will evolve, thus making media responses more effective.
BLURRING LINES BETWEEN PAID, EARNED AND OWNED MEDIA
The lines between paid, earned and owned media are blurring, and PR agencies will be expected to use their writing skills and understanding of brands for paid placements. Ad agencies, however, will not concede their paid media dominance to PR without a tough fight.
CUSTOMISED COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES
Conventional approaches such as media releases and launch events will remain popular, but communication strategies will evolve towards more customised channels. Brand experience will also become predominant and agencies will be expected to give inputs to effectively shape this.
CREATIVE INSIGHTS AND SHARED MEDIA
2018 will see a higher level of focus on insight-driven creative ideas that are effective and stand out in the marketplace. Deliverables for PR firms will also include creative work, and talent with creative backgrounds will be preferred. Shared media will also drive narratives, as messaging services override most traditional media platforms.
DIGITAL ADVOCACY AND INFLUENCERS
Influencer engagement will continue to gain importance. The influencer-brand partnership is heavy reliant on meaningful and long-term associations. PR agencies will thus have to craft their campaigns accordingly. Digital advocacy will also become imperative for brands in 2018, especially in today’s crisis-prone environment. Online advocacy will help cultivate an ecosystem of advocates to create the surround sound for the brand’s core message while also standing by the brand.
LESS IS MORE
It is a noisy, cluttered world and carpet-bombing your message is no longer the best way to get heard. In 2018, PR agencies will need to seek ways to do just a few things, but do them well with a specific target audience and strategy. The industry will build on its greatest asset of storytelling but with simple thinking, simple planning and simple execution.
COLLABORATION AND CSR
The industry will need to take a step back and examine how it can work better at the individual, organisational and community level. There will be a stronger syncing of government agenda with the company/brand agenda. Impact investment initiatives, driving advocacy around policy change and recasting of CSR goals will be some of the core focus areas for the PR agencies for 2018.
GREATER FOCUS ON CRISIS MANAGEMENT
PR firms will have to bring technical support and insight, combined with counsel and expert advice that is essential in a crisis. Crisis management now will be an ‘always on’ feature. In the context of crisis, the role of corporate communication will become a critical one. 2017 saw several cases where Corporate Communication moved to the corporate brand strategy roles. 2018 will see more such cases.
Till date, PR agencies have not been able to scientifically show that they can yield ROI. However, the industry is now working actively towards using credible measurement and research to showcase impact and effectiveness, which will help establish PR as a strategic brand building tool.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INPUTS
CREATIVE AGENCIES: Prasoon Joshi, Chairman, McCann Asia Pacific, & CEO and CCO, McCann Worldgroup India; Sonal Dabral, Group Chief Creative Officer & Vice Chairman, ?Ogilvy & Mather; Sajan Raj Kurup, Founder and Chairman, Creativeland Asia Group; Bobby Pawar, CCO & MD, Publicis Worldwide; Vasudha Misra, ECD, BBH India; Ravpreet Ganesh, Executive Director, Publicis Capital.
MEDIA AGENCIES: Vikram Sakhuja, Group CEO, Madison Media & OOH; Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO, South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network; Anupriya Acharya, Group CEO, Publicis Media India; Debraj Tripathy, Managing Director, MediaCom
TELEVISION: MK Anand, MD & CEO, Times Network; Karan Bajaj, Senior Vice-President & General Manager- South Asia, Discovery Communications India; Avinash Pandey, COO, ABP News Network; Avinash Kaul, MD, A+E Networks | TV18 & President - Network 18; Manav Dhanda, Group CEO, SabGroup; Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head - Kids Entertainment, Viacom18; Mohan Nair, CEO, Mathrubhumi Television; Danish Khan, EVP and Business Head, Sony Entertainment Television; Deepak Rajadhyaksha, Deputy Business Head - Zee TV; Ashish Sehgal, COO, Zee Unimedia; Pawan Jailkhani, Chief Revenue Officer, 9X Media; Rohit Gupta, President, Network Sales and International Business, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN)
PRINT: Deepak Lamba, CEO, Worldwide Media; ?Mitrajit Bhattacharya, President & Publisher, ?Chitralekha Group; M V Shreyams Kumar, Joint Managing Director, Mathrubhumi Printing & Publishing Co Ltd; Ranjeet Kate, CEO, Vijay Karnataka
DIGITAL: Gurmit Singh, VP & MD, Yahoo India; Raj Kamble, Founder and CCO, Garage Worldwide; Chetan Asher, Founder & CEO Tonic Worldwide; Rohit Raj, Co-founder and Right Brain, The Glitch; Nitin Chowdhary, Director, Digital Infusion
RADIO: Abraham Thomas, CEO, Radio City 91.1FM; Nisha Narayanan, COO, Red FM; Tarun Katial, CEO, BIG FM; Vineet Singh Hukmani, MD & CEO 94.3 Radio One
MARKETING: Rohan Padhye, VP-Marketing, Axis Mutual Fund; UT Ramprasad, Head- Marketing communications, Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors; Anshuman Chakravarty, ?Head Brand & Corporate Communications - ?Orient Electric; Vivek Srivatsa, Head, Marketing, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors; Anupama Jangid, Head, Marketing, AirAsia India; Anshuman Goenka, Marketing Head, Bacardi India
OOH: Noomi Mehta, Chairman & MD, Selvel; Pramod Bhandula, Executive Chairman, JCDecaux India; Nabendu Bhattacharyya, CEO & Managing Director, Milestone Brandcom; Shriranga Sudhakara, Founder and MD, Vyoma Media
EXPERIENTIAL: Rasheed Sait, Managing Director, George P. Johnson Experience Marketing; Brian Tellis, CEO, Fountainhead-MKTG; Sameer Tobaccowala, CEO, Shobiz Experiential Communications
PR: Valerie Pinto, CEO, Weber Shandwick; Jaideep Shergill, Founding Partner, Pitchfork Partners; Kunal Kishore Sinha, Founder & Director, Value 360 Communications; Ameer Ismail, Chief Growth Officer, PointNine Lintas | President, GolinOpinion; Anup Sharma, Independent Communications Consultant; Vivek Rana, CEO, The PRactice; Siddhartha Mukherjee, Business Head, Eikona PR Measurement, Audit & Advisory; Udit Pathak, Co-founder and Director, Media Mantra; Prema Sagar, Vice Chair, Burson-Marsteller Asia Pacific & Founder, Genesis Burson-Marsteller; Nikhil Dey, President, Genesis Burson-Marsteller