Digital Marketing first made its presence felt in India way back in 2010, with the entry of e-commerce companies Flipkart and Snapdeal. It was a year which also marked the beginning of India’s digital revolution which has transformed the way Indian corporates are going about their digital marketing strategies.
Since then, the industry has been a major beneficiary of the country’s digitalization push and ongoing Digital India initiatives. This, in turn, has led to unbridled optimism about its potential for robust growth.
Broadly speaking, there are four major trends that will shape its future.
The Rise of Bot Technology
Not only ‘bots’ are making it easier for marketers to strategize and measure results more effectively; it is making online operations more efficient and productive.
For example, Starbucks, the leading US-based coffee chain which recently forayed into India uses bots to provide customers with an enhanced service experience. A customer using voice or text commands on their App, now has a bot informing them about their order status.
What bots lack in terms of human touch, will make up with their problem solving abilities. Bots are especially useful when used correctly, with a ‘real’ chat following the initial exchange with the robot. Owing to their cost effectiveness combined with the inability of many customers to distinguish between a bot and a human, chatbots are here to stay.
An Evolved form of Storytelling
Storytelling will continue to evolve for two primary reasons. One, the intense competition among marketers to gain customer loyalty. And two, to help them make informed choices.
The key to grabbing customer attention lies in creating content that is consistently interesting.
For instance, YouTube is no longer the only source of video entertainment. Users are spending more time on Facebook videos, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix among others.
According to Cisco Systems, the American technology major, video traffic will represent around 80-90 percent of the global consumer internet traffic by 2019.
Rise of Aggregator Apps
Many brands have hit upon a novel solution to resolve the problem of underutilized Apps battling a crowded App space and a very limited user attention span. Entrepreneurs are now looking at aggregating the required information from aggregator apps.
For example, the popular online travel company – Make My Trip – aggregates hotel rooms globally to sell on its website, as do others like Go Ibibo and Clear Trip. However, a super aggregator like Trivago collects information from all these websites and adds value to the end consumer.
While these portals redirect the customer to an aggregator website, it may not be so in the future and may end with payments on the super aggregator App. This works well for the aggregator, end user and the super aggregator.
Mobile Focused Digital Marketing
Buoyed by faster connectivity and low data charges, mobile internet usage in India is expected to touch 478 million this year, states a joint report published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and Kantar.
The report further pegs daily internet users at approx. 281 million. Of this about 182.9 million (62 percent) access the internet daily in urban areas, as compared to about 98 million users (53 percent) in rural India. These are huge numbers which point towards a goldmine of an opportunity for both corporate and digital marketers.
And here are a few things you could do exploit this opportunity.
The Road Ahead
The future of digital marketing in India is clearly about shedding outdated strategies, tools and technologies in favor of jaw-dropping content and unique stories. Companies with the ability to use emerging technologies like predictive analysis and machine learning to better understand their customers will enjoy a huge advantage.by - Madhukar SV (Co-Founder & CEO)
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