Top Digital Trends to watch out for in 2015

The Indian digital market today has become a cornucopia of exciting action with over 200 million people using social media space and more than 250 million smart phone users. In fact as a nation of consumers who primarily use search engines to frame purchase decisions, we rank 4th in the world! Close to the heels of search engine marketing, is social networking that also accounts for a major chunk of digital marketing trends, and is expected to grow to phenomenal heights in 2015.

In Social Media, Million is just a Number!

By the turn of 2014 last year, India had reached an astonishing figure of 155 million mobile internet users with an impressive 100 Million mark for Facebook alone (http://www.digitalintheround.com/digital-marketing-trend-india-q1-2014/.

Digital marketers have instinctively been drawn towards the inherent potential of social media marketing, where every platform provides an opportunity to channelize information towards a particular target segment. Brand communications and content marketing constitute the key strategy-drivers for providing a high impetus to brands on the social media. Brands are engaging in powerful story-telling and witty ways to create that instant connect with consumers.

What Does 2015 has in store for us in terms of Digital Trends?

Digital Marketing has altered by leaps and bounds in all these years and if the companies want to stay in the game, they need to up the ante and create a seamless branding experience across all media channels. While customers have the option to access information across various channels, it is also a challenge for the marketers to tweak their campaigns as per the platforms. Here’s what we can expect in terms of digital trends for 2015:-

Content & Customized Marketing Will Lead

Digital marketers will retrace their steps and get back to the basics of evaluating and analyzing their target audience, a trend that has sadly declined in the past few years. Tailor made content and customized marketing campaigns have already reached a tipping point and the way further would be to re-prioritize resource allocation.

Value Added Selling Will Rule

Placing all your eggs in the ‘sales basket’ will no longer work. Selling alone will not make the cut and the consumers will start ignoring the ones that do nothing but sell. Marketers will now have to realign their resources and energies into adding more value to the service – very much digitized – along with the product that they are selling.

End to End Customer Experience

Digital marketing will take a deeper approach by shifting its focus from demand creation to providing an end-to-end solution to the consumer. The idea is to make it a journey and a continuous experience.

Emotional and Intellectual Connect Will Dominate

2015 is the year when digital marketing will face a paradigm shift and will gain acceptance as an ecosystem rather than being a marketing strategy. This ecosystem will integrate process of attracting, engaging and retaining the customers by giving them readily available access to information regarding what they want. Gone are the days when the marketers could get the customers on board by just preaching them. It is now about creating an excitement towards their brand that provides information and connects with the prospects at intellectual and emotional level.

Innovative Interaction Will Win

It is likely to see many large brands usurping media channels to gain a more loyal base of audience as end-user patience runs low, while competition is at an all time high. More human contact is expected through the intensive digital marketing strategies as the dull and boring campaigns stand no chance to sustain the mounting competition. It is the age of innovation and human interaction through video marketing and short, witty messages.

Transparency & Genuine Relationships A Must

Virtual story telling is the name of the game in emerging digital trends. This will not only help the brand stand out but will also help them engage with the target customers at a one-to-one level. Brands will now focus on creating genuine connections online if they want to earn trust and loyalty of their target customers.

Mobile Data Analyitcs Will Evolve

Mobile data will be the crowning glory of 2015 when it comes to digitization. It helps in eliminating barriers between receiving a message and then taking a subsequent action. Smart digital marketers should be able to use the mobile user base as the unifying principle to create effective strategies that can integrate marketing and human centric business models.

Youtube & Facebook

Facebook may continue to be the main tool when it comes to connecting with users, despite becoming a platform that will get more expensive to reach your use base, and will be shoulder to shoulder with Youtube to iwhere the secret to viral hits lies (http://www.digitalintheround.com/digital-marketing-trend-india-q1-2014/).

The Bottom Line

Digital trends will continue to reign supreme when it comes to 2015 and still be the preferred choice for the marketers to reach out to their target audience. However, to retain the loyalties of flippant consumers, it is imperative to keep quality of the marketing initiatives well-curated and thoroughly engage the audience by creating structured campaigns.

 

Unleash the Power of WhatsApp in your Marketing Campaign

Upasana Naithani - BC Web Wise

Upasana Naithani – Sr. Account Manager, BC Web Wise

When the cross-platform instant messaging service, WhatsApp was launched by 2 former Yahoo employees in 2009, nobody would have offered 1 in a million odds for its current popularity. From being a rage amongst smartphone users for its brilliant chat, media sharing and integrated mapping features, this platform is now a powerful marketing tool as well. The impetus to the worldwide recognition of WhatsApp had a lot to do with its acquisition by Facebook for a whooping 9$ billion in 2013. And today, renowned brands like Klik and Absolut have used this platform to their advantage with highly creative marketing campaigns. Let us take a brief look at how they reached out to their respective market segments using WhatsApp:-

Absolut
The Absolut Unique Launch Party in Argentina that centred on the production of 4 million uniquely designed bottles to celebrate the launch of their Limited Edition Absolut Unique Collection was a huge success owing to the innovative videos, images and audio messages that the brand tactically made use of to create a buzz on WhatsApp, and needless to state, the launch party was a huge success.

Klik
In early 2013, the Israeli Chocolate Giant Klik came up with an innovative WhatsApp campaign to target teens, by inviting them to join the Klik chat group, and thereon engaging them with a number of fun games such as posting photographs of their faces when they run out of chocolate, their favourite Klik moments and so on. This campaign effectively grew their engagement levels, which the brand effectively channelized to increase their Facebook fan base.

Advantages of Using WhatsApp for Digital Marketers

While many brands are yet to cash in on the huge potential of this platform, it is important to note, that as compared to renowned brands, WhatsApp can prove to be of greater help for marketing small and medium sized companies, local businesses and start-up brands, owing to the following advantages:-

  • Highly convenient platform for two-way communication
  • Real Time and Hassle-Free Communication
  • Minimal Financial Investment
  • Great for sharing information, fostering engagement as well as Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Flexibility of disseminating text, pictures, audio and video clips
  • Being a cross-platform too, the user-base is massive and gradually expanding beyond youngsters to encompass all age groups
  • Instant tool for introducing new brands, finalizing deals and complaints resolution
  • Your WhatsApp account is fairly easier to manage as compared to your conventional social media accounts.

The Way Ahead

WhatsApp had started off as a ‘no ads, no games, no gimmicks’ platform, which is probably the key reason for its phenomenal success today. But despite these limitations, the host of advantages and unbound potential of this instant messaging service is bound to make it go a long way ahead in the realm of digital marketing. Its massive ease of use, cost-effectiveness and superb interface has earned it a massive fan base of smartphone users.

So what do you think? Is there an opportunity for you to use the Whatsapp user base?

Why Mobile Should Be An Important Piece of Your Digital Marketing Plan

There is ample awareness about mobile penetration, and an increasing number of users now getting online through their mobile phones. However, there is still hesitation on how real these numbers are and what the audience is doing via mobile internet. Compiled here is pieces of research and reports, akin to those of a jigsaw puzzle, that when put together give a clear idea on how much is the penetration, what is being accessed on mobile internet, why these numbers can go up, where is it going, and which way should your digital marketing plan be headed.

STATUS OF MOBILE INTERNET IN INDIA

pie

According to the last report of IAMAI and IMRB, of the total 150 million internet users in India, there were around 87.1 million mobile internet users till Dec. 2012. What’s more, on an average, a mobile internet user spent about Rs 198 towards internet expenses.

 

In fact mobile internet access had surpassed desktop in November 2012 as per Global Stats data specific to India:

 stat

THE BC WEB WISE EXPERIENCE

In recent (mid-2013) web analytics we have observed that brands and corporates including NGOs, B2C and B2B categories, that are not updated with mobile friendly content get an average of 10 per cent of traffic on websites as well as Facebook. Clients ready with device agnostic pages and content, traffic from mobile is rising and hovering between 20 per cent to 25 per cent.

FUTURE GROWTH PROJECTIONS

According to the latest report of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), till January 2013, the total wireless subscriber user base was 862.62 Mn of which 708 Mn i.e. 82.08% were active mobile users. However, as analysed by GSMA Director General Anne Bouverot, on an average, each user has 2 sim cards and in terms of unique number of subscribers, there are about 380 million actual users – about 26 per cent of the total population.

McKinsey Research forecasts that the total number of Mobile Internet users will increase more than five-fold to 450 million by 2015. Another recent report by Boston Consulting Group stated that the total number of Internet users in India is expected to increase from 125 million in 2011 to 330 million by 2016. The report noted that, at present, around 45% of online consumers in the nation use only the mobile to access the Internet. This is expected to increase to 60% over the next three years.

India’s only official internet and mobile association – IAMAI is the most conservative in the projections expecting the number of mobile internet users reach 130.6 million by march 2014 and 164.8 million by march 2015.

THE CATALYSTS FOR GROWTH

Google and Bharti Airtel are encouraging trials to catalyse the adoption of mobile internet. Airtel mobile customers in India can freely access Google online products, including the first page of a Web site linked from search results. Customers will be prompted to purchase a data pack if they click a second link on the Web site they reached via a Google Search, or if they need to download attachments from Gmail.

Vodafone India recently slashed its 2G Internet tariff by 80 percent to 2 paise / 10 KB from 10 paisa / 10 KB earlier. Vodafone also introduced One Time Trial Packs in April this year for 2G and 3G at very affordable price points of Rs 25 for 2G and Rs 49 for 3G, together with a 500 MB data transfer package. The intent is give its customers a taste of mobile Internet and its advantages at price points that a customer won’t think twice to say yes to.

RURAL INDIA IS RAPIDLY ADOPTING MOBILE INTERNET TOO

A Financial Express feature reported that at eBay India today, every one minute a mobile accessory changes hands and every two minutes a mobile handset. It has 4,306 e-commerce hubs today, of which 1,015 are hubs in rural India, indicating that consumers in the smaller towns of India are a major force in this online growth story.

PRIMARY USES OF OF INTERNET ON MOBILE

According to a study done by Opera the Top mobile sites in India are:

  • google.com
  • orkut.com
  • facebook.com
  • youtube.com
  • getjar.com

An I-Cube Survey in June 2012 reveals a wide range of uses of mobile Internet.

Mobileinternetuses

REASONS FOR USING MOBILE INTERNET V/S DESKTOP

Here is what a device agnostic survey done by Opera Software and On Device Research revealed:

  • 49% of people who are using the mobile Internet either never, or infrequently, use the desktop Internet.
  • India has emerged as the 2nd largest base of mobile only Internet generation after South Africa.
  • For 41% Indians, mobile phone is the only possible way to access Internet

Why Mobile Internet

SMARTPHONE PENETRATION & INTERNET USAGE

If you look at smart phone penetration, and since smart phone users are most likely to access the internet, Mary Meeker’s (partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and former Internet analyst)  latest report on Internet Trends in India suggests that we will have 67 million smartphone subscribers by the end of 2013, recording a 52% growth YoY.

Google India and Ipsos study on smart phone users revealed the following:

– Only 6 per cent don’t use their phones to connect to the web.

– 94 per cent smart phone users use the phones to connect ot the web.

– 56% of smartphone users accessed the Internet multiple times a day

– 40% surf the Net at least once a day.

– 76% of smartphone users in India access social networking sites

– 77% of smartphone owners download/ listen to music,

– 33 per cent use it for download / playing games

– 32 per cent read newspapers or magazine.

PROVIDER’S OF MOBILE INTERNET CONNECTIVITY IN INDIA

  • Airtel 3G
  • Aircel 3G
  • Vodafone 3G
  • BSNL 3G
  • Tata Docomo 3G
  • Idea Cellular 3G
  • Reliance 3G

DOES YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING RUPEE CONSIDER MOBILE INTERNET USERS?

If you are building a website today, but are not planning on revamping it for the next 5 years at least, then you need to prepare not just for the internet user today, but also those who will visit your site over the next five years. If you are doing Facebook marketing, posts may be viewed on the mobile, and have to be optimized for mobile screens. And if you are doing a Search campaign, on the go search is very likely to be the most popular approach from the difficult to reach target consumer, reaching him or her on the mobile may be critical today.

To maximize your ROI, it is time to have a device agnostic approach to your content, creative and media strategy.