Parthasarathy Mandayam, Vinit Karnik, and Priti Murthy give their take on the trends that will matter this year.
GroupM’s This Year, Next Year report has highlighted a 15.5% increase in ad spends in India, reaching Rs 1,46,450 crore in 2023. With it, India moves to number eight on the global list of top ad spenders whilst being the fastest-growing market in the top 10.
Digital will lead the share of India’s ad spends at 56% up from 2022’s 54%. Following it will be television with a share of 30% of India’s ad spends pie. Telecom, retail, media, gaming, fintech, travel and tourism are estimated to drive growth in 2023.
At the event, GroupM’s leaders took turns speaking on key trends which will influence the spending of the brands in the coming years. Broken down into seven categories, they were:
Moving towards attention planning
Content breaks boundaries and creates new opportunities
Rise in retail media
Visual search goes mainstream
New dimensions of omnichannel
Democratization of commerce with ONDC
Sporting nation in the making
afaqs! spoke to three GroupM chiefs at the event on certain trends discussed during the report’s unveiling.
Parthasarathy Mandayam (Maps), chief strategy officer, GroupM South Asia
He says a majority of people will, over some time, move to the connected TV ecosystem because it has all the content presently available on linear TV.
The overall number he feels is still small and “out of the 22 million addressable TV homes, a large majority would be people who still make use of linear and connected TV offerings and are therefore cord shavers.”
The strategy chief also sees a rise in the number of cord never consumers (those who’ve never subscribed to a TV channel or package). “It is today’s 22-year-olds,” he states.
And while brands are looking to efficiently target consumers with first-party data, they, as per Parthasarathy, are keeping a close eye on the incoming Digital Personal Data Protection Bill.
“This is where data governance becomes important,” he says and asks a counter question — To whom are you willing to give data? He replied to his question says “you're willing to give data when you get something good in return… that exchange of value is very important.”
Priti Murthy, president, GroupM Nexus
She is certain influencer marketing is no longer a supporting role in a brand’s marketing mix but is “definitely mainstream.”
While many brands were launched using influencer marketing, she states that a lot of legacy brands are shifting gears into influencer marketing, especially for their new-age products.
Digital remains the core media for influencer marketing but when asked about TV, she says, “TV scale and impact is more immediate reach, aspiration is influencer space. It's about the spraying of impact versus detailing of impact, that's how I look at TV versus digital.”
GroupM has INCA, its influencer and creator marketing solution where “we capture how influencers map to the profile of the brand, what kind of influencer ROI you will get, and what kind of markets they cover, it is like a media planner.”
She further adds that big influencers do “feel accountable for final sales, many have a stake in the brands, and some are launching their brands. They understand ROI language very well.”
Influencers launching their brands can affect their branded content offerings. Murthy agrees to it but feels it will not isolate them, “they become niche and premium because they are not available for every brand.”
Regional influencers are trending right now as per the president of GroupM Nexus, and the categories which will rule the influencer marketing space in the coming year are beauty and fashion space followed by health and sports.
Vinit Karnik, head, Sports, Esports and Live Entertainment, GroupM South Asia
Karnik is confident India will see the rise of non-live sports offerings on the lines of Netflix’s Drive to Survive or Amazon Prime Video’s The Test.
He, when asked about the challenges from sporting federations on the making of such offerings, says “it all depends on the way you want to package it” and points to existing examples of such content from IPL teams Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals.
Speaking about corporate investment, he states their money is often spent on individual sports or Olympic sports. “Tata investing in academies, 40-45% medals come from JSW talent... they're doing a phenomenal job from a development standpoint.
He, however, makes it clear that the grassroots development of a sport is the responsibility of a federation and not of a brand although brands will leverage it based on time and season.
And while cricket and football may have got their due, the sports he feels holding promise for budding sportspersons and brands include badminton, kabaddi, volleyball, table tennis, and even wrestling.