This post is my reflection of the biggest digital marketing trends in India for 2014. This year promised to be big with the emerging ecommerce players and heavy investment made by online businesses to bring Indians online. India currently has 200 million users who have access to the web – the third highest in the world. While many other articles on the web spoke about digital marketing trends for 2014, they were predictive in nature and poorly written. So I believe a post on the same subject right in the middle of 2014 would give you an accurate picture of the latest digital marketing trends.
Digital Marketing Trends in India
While the market is still not as mature as the one in US, it has been heartening to see the pace of growth and advancement the industry has made in India. Digital marketing started out as a fledgling industry in 2000 and it has taken a whole decade for it to gather its current growth rate, primarily spurred by ecommerce companies and their heavy investments.
2014 has seen all business strive to launch their mobile app. Online businesses of all verticals and scale have realized that this mobile economy can be tapped into aggressively via the app. Smartphone users grew to 104 million in January 2014, compared with 51 million in 2013. That is a two-times growth in the number of smartphone owners in India in a year. This is predicted to accelerate further by end of 2014 as the prices of smartphones continue to decrease dramatically.
More interestingly, almost half of the internet population in India is a mobile-only user – which makes it imperative for businesses to create a solid presence on smartphones; what better way than fast and easy-to-use apps to tap into this market. Therefore, we have seen mobile apps being launched by so many companies in India as a part of their digital marketing growth story.
A medium that did not figure in even 5% of the digital advertising spends of companies is today giving Google a run for their money. Facebook advertising has grown by leaps and bounds over the past three years, they have worked to give ecommerce companies competitive return-on-investments to Google AdWords. Apart from that, many companies have begun to realize that a lot of new users to their website are being brought in by Facebook as compared to Google.
Also, with growing cost-per-click on Google, there are many startups that are realizing Facebook as a more cost-effective way to reach out to their target base. Other big players have started distributing a significant amount of their advertising money to Facebook. Facebook advertising also gives players an opportunity to brand themselves better and reach out to the audience more effectively, there is no doubt that Facebook is the most effective branding channel online today (keeping in mind the affordability).
The CEO of Hindustan Unilever recently gave his thoughts about how digital marketing is becoming important for big brands. At the Annual General Meeting, he said, “Mobile, social media and big data are transforming the very nature of marketing.” He went on to add,”..We have not just significantly increased our investment in digital media but are also innovating to increase our impact in this space.”
This is the case not only with Hindustan Unilever, but also with many other giants in the corporate industry of India. The current Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi also relied on digital marketing while he fought in the elections. Modi’s digital marketing strategy helped him immensely with his popularity online and influencing a new set of audience. Modi had the fastest growing page (for the last day, week and month) of any politician or elected official worldwide, the growth rate was around 1.171 % against Obama’s 0.305 %.
Digital marketing courses
Everyone suddenly wants to become a digital marketer. The huge talent gap in India as far as experienced digital marketers are concerned have allowed many digital marketing training institutes to mushroom in the country. Most of these digital marketing courses last just over two months and promise a successful career. However, I have my reservations about this unhealthy system of pushing digital marketing training to everyone (even those without the aptitude), it takes a lot more than two months and lure of a successful career to become a good digital marketer.
Do have a look at my review on DSIM, one of India’s most advertised digital marketing course, for my view on the matter.
Big data analysis has become a crucial component for companies to improve their digital marketing strategies. This leads to better user experience as well as better advertising strategies online. Companies are hiring product managers with great enthusiasm and it is good news for all of us. As India’s internet population matures, businesses are realizing that a good user interface and experience can go a long way to retain or absorb a new user.
A/B testing, user flow analysis are all a part of the digital marketing strategy for most businesses now.
Email marketing evolves
Email marketing is no longer the old-school newsletter shots. Now, email marketing has become a sophisticated digital marketing tool with segmentation of users based on purchasing history, site activity and various other behavioral analysis. Add to this the recent inbox segmentation done by Google on Gmail, and most email marketers are fighting tooth and nail to land their marketing mails in the primary tab of inbox.
These are the top digital marketing trends in India according to me. Have I missed out something? Let me know in the comment section.