It's very difficult to convince marketers to cough up money for online and mobile advertising. They ask for proof. And mostly, proof is empirical in nature. Page views are the only ready reckoners. & #BANNER1 & # But they too, in some cases, fail to satisfy the marketers as they demand more reasons to loosen purse strings.
Perhaps, the research study - undertaken by the Internet & Online Association (IOA) to prove the effectiveness of advertising, marketing and e-commerce using Internet and mobile as mediums - may alter the marketing community's perceptions.
The research christened Indian Internet Consumer & Cross Media Research Study is being done in tandem with IMRB. Backed by the IMRB's primary research, IOA would develop, extend and promote integrated business strategies across online and emerging channels. The research is going to be conducted in two stages.
The pre-research study, which is the first stage, will explore specific areas to be researched in online advertising, e-commerce and mobile advertising sectors. Guiding the study would be one-on-one interviews with the senior management of marketers, advertising agencies and service providers.
Following the pre-research assessment, the final baseline research will be conducted in about 24-36 cities and towns.
The research study would cover demographics and media consumption habits vis-a-vis TV and press. For the demographics, IOA is compiling data from multiple audience groups across 26 cities. According to IOA, not a single study exists till date, that has taken into account net population beyond metro cities.
For IOA, which is looking at the media habits of consumers, it is especially valuable for demonstrating that the Internet can dramatically improve marketing and sales ROI if it is a significant part of the overall media mix.
Talking about the research Preeti Desai, president, Internet & Online Association, says, "In today's economy, there is no greater imperative than to maximize marketing monies online. It is crucial that the Internet & Online Association gives the right data tools to marketers, media planners, buyers and businesses, which will unequivocally help them make educated decisions and thus, increasingly cater to the connected Indians whether online or mobile."
"The pre-research will provide an in-depth view of market needs across all sectors and categories and hence enable us to customise research as required by the industry. The Indian Internet Consumer & Cross Media Research Study after the pre-research will provide compelling proof to what all our members believe in - Same Budget, Better Results," she added.
According to Mohan Krishnan, vice-president and country manager, eTechnology, Group@IMRB, the study will arm the marketing community with sophisticated and unbiased tools to monitor and evaluate their respective roles.
On the other hand, Ratish Nair, member sub-committee research, COO, Mediaturf said while a large number of advertisers, especially in the financial sector, are aware of the importance of Internet as a medium, some sectors need common measurement tools.
"There are a lot of questions, which in their opinion tend to be unanswered in spite of various metrics, since there is no syndicated study. Hence, we believe it is important to do a syndicated study after getting an opinion from marketers and advertisers as to what the gaps are as they feel need to be covered and hence the pre-research study. This is a step in the direction of fulfilling client expectations from the medium in more ways than one."
Media professionals such as Ravi Kiran, managing director, India-West & South, Starcom Worldwide keenly await the findings of the pre-research. "...The final research, we believe, will open a few eyes and may shock the cynics." For Tushar Vyas, National Director, mOne Worldwide "the study will also help evaluate the Internet as a medium in its rightful perspective and demonstrate its effectiveness."
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