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87% brands in India leverage digital: Social Beat report

Digital marketing spends are about one-third of the total marketing spends, according to the Digital Marketing Industry Report 2016, released by Social Beat, one of the leading digital marketing agencies in India. The results here are considerably different from the IAMAI-IMRB International Report, which pegs the digital spends at 12 per cent of the total marketing spends.

The Digital Marketing Industry Report 2016 is based on a survey conducted in May-June 2016. A total of 376 CMOs and Marketing Heads across India participated in the survey. The companies that participated in the study were from various sectors and verticals, including e-Commerce, FMCG, Media/ Entertainment, Healthcare, Education, Real Estate, and Travel.

Speaking on the report, Social Beat Co-Founder Vikas Chawla, said, “The report highlights the rise of digital marketing, though brands continue to use television and print mediums to have a 360-degree approach. It was encouraging to see that 87 per cent of the brands surveyed leverage digital marketing. While brand awareness and lead generation/ sales seem to be the primary goals set by the CMOs, digital marketing is increasingly being leveraged for Customer Engagement (46 per cent) and customer service (35 per cent) too.”

Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder of Social Beat, added here, “Around 10 per cent brands surveyed spend more than Rs 1 crore annually on digital marketing, while around 50 per cent brands spend more than Rs 6 lakh annually. Overall, 20 per cent brands plan to increase their digital marketing spends by 25 per cent in the next financial year. This is important in the context of growing internet and digital penetration in India – brands understand that digital is the way forward. With an expected 500 million internet users in India by 2017, brands understand the massive opportunity to reach out to their consumers.”

David Appasamy, who has recently joined Social Beat as Head of Brand & Strategy, commented, “The survey reflects the growing acceptance of digital platforms as an excellent means of engaging meaningfully with consumers, generating leads and increasing sales. It was particularly interesting to see that the digital marketing channels are already contributing to more than 30 sales for at least 40 per cent of the brands surveyed.”

Tracking Return on Investment (ROI) is the biggest challenge being faced by brands, closely followed by content creation, quality lead generation and attracting talent. Currently, CMOs are using Sales/ Leads, Engagement, Brand Reach and Mentions as the metrics to track the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Most of the respondents said they focus on Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing and Emailers for marketing their brand online. Not surprisingly, Facebook (89 per cent) and Google (78 per cent) have emerged as the most popular platforms, followed by Twitter (56 per cent) and LinkedIn (51 per cent). Penetration of smartphones, faster internet connectivity and interesting video content have resulted in 51 per cent brands targeting YouTube for marketing their brand. It would be interesting to track the growth of newer channels like Instagram and Snapchat in India for brand marketing in the near future.

Vikas Chawla added, “Most of CMOs that took the survey felt that they there is a lot of scope for improvement in quality lead generation, result tracking and creative campaigns. This presents a massive opportunity to digital marketers to fill the gap and help leverage the digital medium more effectively for brands.”

Key findings:

  • Brand Awareness & Lead Generation are the primary goals for most brands
  • Measuring ROI from digital marketing is the biggest challenged faced
  • 87 per cent brands leverage digital and 38 per cent of them allocate one-third of the budget to digital marketing
  • Facebook & Google are still the most popular digital marketing channels



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