Media buying and planning is directly impacted by the economy, business climate, technology and most of all—people. India is poised to be one of the most exciting economies of the globe. Truly the land of business with opportunities for ‘Make in India’, entrepreneurship has always been a part of our DNA—consider the case of even the chaiwala who will leave his hometown to set up a shop in a metro.
Global sentiment in the fundamentals of policy and government are at an all-time high. Simply put, it means more business leading to more advertising and hence the need to look at media. It isn’t the scale that matters, but it is about the one who is agile and responsive to need—hence, one who is smart. ‘Smart’ media buying and planning will be the key agency differentiator.
Digital has been growing and turning out to be a game changer of sorts. Even more exciting is digital driven by mobile, which will be a mega game changer, giving the power in the hands of consumers. Agencies who up their game and offer ‘smart’ services in real-time will draft the brand chart of new age businesses.
As digital and mobile dominate media, they are tremendous opportunities for the agile marketer. Understanding the digital Indian and being relevant to him across the customer journey will be the job of media. We will have to integrate media as never before with one medium leading to another, back and forth, and measurable, to deliver relevant solutions for existing and potential customers, in competitive markets. Today, media has transformed the customer beyond being a customer, to being the medium! Thus media agencies will have to view media as the customer sees it.
Three sectors will dominate the business environment, having a direct impact on media buying and planning:
E-Commerce in India is exploding. Being a sunrise sector, it is heavily dependent on media. As it matures,
e-commerce will need media as much as media needs it. The stage is set for e-commerce players and there is a fierce battle out there which media will direct. The battle for creating impact through various formats and vehicles to reach the discerning consumer. The battle to eye for a larger share of the consumers mind and wallet. The battle to offer numerous and differentiated choices to the consumers. We are seeing marketplace horizontals but the next thrust will be verticals; creating another storm and opportunities.
With an aspirational Indian society, is it any wonder that India has the potential to be a leading world luxury market? It is growing at a CAGR of 18%. There has been a 27% increase in millionaires over the last year, and Wealth-X further predicts 437,000 India-based millionaires by 2018 (and double that number by 2023).
The rising middle class, ready availability of credit, willingness to spend, the growth in HNIs and new age business’ wealthy entrepreneurs will spurt this sector, attracting more global and Indian brands to set shop.
Many will offer, as some already do, a prêt version as an affordable range. With tremendous growth possibilities, retail space for luxury brands is expected to double in the next 3-4 years as per commercial real estate firm CBRE Group. With aspirations rising, wanting to live for today being the mantra, and with the share of wallet increasing on luxury brands, luxury is turning out to be one of the hottest sectors for media. The 80:20 rule applies in this sector and special, focused and direct communications riding on relevant media vehicles will be much sought after.
Market share is a fundamental requirement for major automakers and global CEOs, so India with its rapidly growing millionaires, old wealth and proponents for luxury, is a hot-bed. ICRA, the credit agency, expects luxury car sales to triple from 33,000 a year to over 100,000 by 2020.
Indian automakers have stepped up the gas on capturing the burgeoning needs of the busy Indian. Media buying and planning will have to get very innovative and flexible across traditional, digital and mobile in its offerings to captivate the end customer. New brands, new models, new variants enticing consumers across segments will create infinite opportunities for media agencies to fuel their own growth on the back of this interesting and accelerating sector.
Indeed, it is a great time to be alive, to be an Indian – a time for youth, business and the people of this great country. Truly, ‘Make in India’ is here to stay and media will drive it.
By Anita Nayyar
The author is CEO, Havas Media Group India & South Asia