Nisha Qureshi

Nine out of ten products are discovered on Meta platforms, says, Meta's Arun Srinivas

Meta’s Arun Srinivas speaks about the rising influence of new-age brands and the strategic utilisation of Meta's platforms.

In a world where digital adoption is increasing rapidly, it is only natural for ad spends to follow. Many new-age brands are being built entirely on digital with little to no spending on traditional mediums such as TV or print.

According to Arun Srinivas, director and head, ads business (India), Meta, today digital has become the primary medium for a large number of brands irrespective of sectors.

“A few years ago, the perception was that digital was mainly for performance marketing. That is not the case anymore. People are finding entertainment on digital platforms, while audiences in traditional media are on the way out. If the index was 100 on TV three years ago, it would have come down to 85. Similarly, if the index was 100 on digital, today it is 130-150,” he says.

Srinivas was speaking on the sidelines of the Meta Marketing Summit - FMCG edition in Mumbai. According to him, while e-commerce and gaming are the company’s biggest verticals, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) is also emerging as an important sector for Meta.

“A lot of new-age brands have been built entirely on Meta, such as Mamaearth, Kapiva, WOW, etc. Many of these brands are directly challenging the traditional big brands in the space. What has happened is that digital has become the main medium for almost all brands, irrespective of the sector,” he explains.

“If you look at the primary purpose of any of these brands, it is to reach the maximum audience, which is why they have started spending more where the audience is,” he adds.

Meta reported its fifth consecutive year of revenue growth in its Q1 2024 results. Revenue for the quarter totalled $36.5 billion, a 27% year-on-year increase, with $35.6 billion coming from ads. According to the company, ad impressions delivered were also up 20% year-on-year.

Audience behaviour and evolution of digital advertising

As per Srinivas, people use Meta’s platforms to discover new products and brands. He says nine out of ten brands are getting discovered on Meta platforms, and maybe products from six out of seven of those end up being bought by people.

He further states that video, and short videos, in particular, have revolutionised the space entirely.

“Video is leading global watch time. If I recall correctly, in the last results that we announced, more than half the time spent on our platforms today is on video surfaces, and it is not different within India either.”

Asked if recent big-ticket events like the IPL, Cricket World Cup, or the general elections had impacted spending on the platform, he says, “If you look at our user behaviour, people need a second screen even when they are watching TV. They either want to know what’s happening in the news or are talking to someone about the match. Our screens are constantly engaged, which leads to an increase in advertising rather than a decrease.”

FMCG brands and Meta

Meta also commissioned studies with market research firms Nielsen and Kantar that show the growing relevance of digital for the country’s FMCG sector. The Nielsen study noted that the return on investment, which is the incremental revenue generated per rupee invested, is 1.42 for digital media versus 0.95 for non-digital media. Within this, the return on investment from Meta is 1.76 for every rupee invested.

The report adds that digital ROI is increasing every year. According to the findings, the investment by FMCG/CPG brands in Meta poses stronger returns indexed to traditional channels across categories including food, household care, personal care, baby care, laundry, and health and hygiene.

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