Concerns over brand safety, fake news and a lack of transparency might have reached a boiling point in 2017, but this year, companies will continue to pump money into more controlled and direct advertising options.
Experts at media buying and ad-tracking agencies maintain that this translates to a move out of the open markets and, in some cases, a move towards more contextual versus audience-targeted advertising buys.
“Digital advertising is growing big time. At the beginning of the festive season last year, and specifically before Diwali, we detected 36 per cent new advertisers moving to digital platform for their advertising needs. This was a big surge in new advertisers,” Saurav Patnaik, Co-Founder, Adby Ventures, an ad-detection company, told BusinessLine.
Advertisers are likely to spend around ₹7,500 crore on digital advertising in India this year, according to Nitin Chowdhary, Director at Digital Infusion, a programmatic media-buying agency.
Digital advertising spend is about 14 per cent of the total advertising spend in the country, and it currently serves as one of the primary means by which businesses, both online and offline, can drive traffic and acquire new customers.
Forecast to breach the $1-billion milestone at the start of last year, digital advertising was set to grow at a compound annual growth rateof 33 per cent to touch ₹9,700 crore by December 2017, according to an earlier estimate of IMRB Kantar and the Internet and Mobile Association of India.
At the end of 2016, digital advertising spend was estimated to be around ₹7,300 crore, growing at a rate of 40 per cent over 2015.
“Top spenders in digital advertising on desktop in December 2017 were Google, Maruti Suziki, Amazon Prime, in the first, second and third position respectively,” said Patnaik.
Adby collects and reports data using its Competitive Media Intelligence tool for advertisers, publishers and agencies. It takes the help of BiScience, an Israel-based software technology company, to compare advertising across different platforms (desktop, mobile, videos) and map the increased activity of different industries.
Patnaik notes that the number-one digital advertiser in India in December, Google, was promoting G Suite, a brand of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products on its Enterprise Cloud Services. The search engine giant was also heavily promoting Pixel 2, Android smartphones designed, developed and marketed by Google.
Amazon, on the other hand, was heavily promoting its Prime Videos, Adby data showed, while Maruti Suzuki was promoting its sedan cars, the new Dzire and Celerio X, the third-highest category heavily promoted on digital platforms, in December 2017.
On mobile, however, the advertisers were different. Tourism Australia took the lead in digital advertising, according to Adby, while Amazon was at the second place with high ad spends. Dream 11, fantasy cricket games, was the third-highest with major advertising inventory in December 2017.
In a comparison of digital advertising adoption in India with other countries, Adby notes that India stands way behind the US, the market with the highest number of digital advertisers.
US advertisers are set to spend nearly $48 billion on digital display ads in 2018, according to a report by eMarketer. As the new year begins, many of the effects felt in 2017 from concerns over ad quality and transparency would continue to shape buyer-seller relationships, and the flow of money between the two.
A recent report by InMobi pointed out that the number of brand advertisers using video ads increased by 60 per cent in Q1 of 2017. With nearly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data consumed every day via emails, videos, images, tweets and content, digital advertising, which serves as the backbone, is set to soar to newer heights.
A combined study by CII and KPMG had earlier noted that India’s digital advertising industry is poised to touch $4 billion (₹25,500 crore) by 2020. While the sector has seen massive growth, given the increased popularity of the internet and social media, programmatic advertising is set to soon command a big share of the digital advertising pie with traditional advertisers realising its benefits.
by AMRITA NAIR-GHASWALLA