The second edition of our Digital Leadership Summit was a grand success with key insights shared by industry leaders from across the nation. Mr Omkar Rajadhyaksha – Managed Partners Lead, New Business at Google – was our first speaker who threw light on the strategic methods brands can take up to grow their business through Google in 2019 with focus on futuristic digital marketing trends to look forward to. Let’s take a look at the key insights of the session.
With 650 million active Internet users in the nation, almost half our population is consuming content online. However, 7 out of every 10 Indians access the Internet through mobile, entirely surpassing the desktop and creating a mobile-first ecosystem for brands to leverage. To add to this, the introduction of Jio has led to a five times increase in 4G data being consumed, when compared to the 2G and 3G plans used before. This has contributed majorly to the online growth of brands. Though the nation is still lagging behind in terms of speed, the easy access to inexpensive data plans, coupled with the drop in the prices of smartphones, is a good start.
After Google, YouTube is the second most-used search engine proving that videos are the future. This platform alone has witnessed a 400% increase in video consumption through mobile alone. These staggering numbers only prove that organisations should leverage the reach of videos to tell their brand story. The most-searched genre is that of entertainment with the top searches being comedy clips and song covers. The other genres that are very popular are food-related content, how-to series and mobile unboxing videos that have also contributed majorly to the expansion of YouTube.
The growth of regional content has been one of the biggest digital marketing trends in the past few years and is showing no signs of fading away. As per a recent Indian Readership Survey (IRS), each one of the top twenty publications read across the nation is in a regional language except for Times of India that ranked in the eleventh position. Furthermore, there is no surprise that the same behaviour is being translated online. As per a recent survey conducted by KMPG, a whopping 88 percent of online users said they would click on a multilingual ad rather than one that is in English.
Consumers are adopting innovative ways to search and shop, and voice assistants are playing a huge role in this aspect. As per a recent survey conducted by Google, 28% of queries are made by voice on search apps. Furthermore, there has been a 400 percent increase in Hindi voice searches ever since Hindi was introduced as a language on the assistant. There has also been a 63% increase in phone-unboxing searches, especially when the phone is bought online, with a 70% increase in price-related searches for smartphones falling in the range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000.
With digital and mobile merging together as one, the whole formula for brands to drive growth has evolved. Google closely observed the online behaviour of 100,000 active users and noticed that the marketing funnel is no longer just about awareness, consideration and purchase. It is filled with intent-rich moments of consumers when they make direct queries online, redefining the traditional funnel-like approach. The new-and-improved marketing funnel is now not as streamlined and has the potential of adopting an hourglass, diamond or a pyramid shape based on the intent-rich moments of consumers. These moments of intent, also known as micro-moments, play a huge role in either expanding or narrowing down the consideration set of the funnel. This proves that a consumer’s online journey is unpredictable and brands need to anticipate these micro-moments to target a custom intent audience.
So where does Google fit in all this? The world’s largest search engine has seven different products to offer based on utility. From Google Maps and Google Chrome to Gmail, these digital utilities are free and help in the day-to-day digital routines of consumers. They are updated regularly through machine learning and artificial intelligence to adapt to the lifestyle of the users. Furthermore, these products can be monetised to ensure your brand is present across the intent-rich moments of your consumers.
TrueView for action form ads: YouTube has come a long way from a mere video platform to the cusp of performance and branding. Organisations can now drive performance through YouTube with TrueView for Action form ads that present the user with a pre-filled form along with the ad. This is a classic example of how brands can reach out to viewers during an intent-rich moment.
YouTube home feed ads: Just like masthead ads, YouTube home feed ads are plastered on top of the YouTube home feed every day, targeted based on the content consumption pattern of the user. These ads have the potential to create a billion impressions with 100 million unique ones pan India per day. They are all the more enriching since they are in video formats and are far more effective than search and display ads that are almost static today.
Display ads in Discover: Formerly known as Google feed ads, these ads are designed to look and feel native to organic cards for seamless brand placement on Google feeds. However, it is important to focus on the creative and the messaging of the ad and not go in for plain Jane designs.
A lot of digital-first brands are looking at brick and motor. Since the consumer journey has now altered the traditional marketing funnel with more research going into the consideration stage, online brands are adapting to this change with pop-ups and stalls to showcase their products. Even if consumers are completely convinced to buy your product online, they prefer visiting the physical store to experience the look and feel before investing. This proves that it is a merit to integrate your online store with offline sales to capture the entire 360° of the consumer journey. Users get influenced online and experience the product offline making it a win-win for both brands and consumers.
Whichever sector your firm belongs to, marketers should hold their digital media accountable for business. Instead of basic digital metrics like the number of clicks and the CTR, you should also tie up your media spend to revenue, profit margin, gross margin and other business metrics.
It is time we stop considering the average value of metrics to measure digital performance. Instead, brands need to identify the consumers who spend more on online products and let go of the ones who are left over by your competitors. It is essential to look for profitable consumers who will build your business.
As the saying goes - the only thing that is constant is change! Google’s digital utilities work on automation to learn from the changes and provide higher ROI. It is safe to say that in today’s digital age, automation is the way to go. If not, your brand will definitely be left behind by its competitors!
The insightful session by Mr Omkar Rajadhyaksha was an eye-opener for leading brands and marketers. Whether you are a top real estate developer, financial giant, FMCG brand or a B2B organisation, make sure you adapt to the evolving digital ecosystem and grow your business.