Digital is likely to cross TV spends in the long term: Jaikishin Chhaproo

We saw the pandemic accelerate the digital transition process of businesses last year. A year later, the implications of this transition have been significant and wide-ranging – from creating consumer experiences & engagements, to e-commerce, online education, e-payments, online medical consultations – almost all off-line activity is now done in the digital space.

Digital spends have gone up manifold, and brand strategies now incorporate reaching out to consumers in the online space. With this, there has also been the need for upskilling the workforce to tackle the business operational requirements in the new normal.

In the run-up to DIGIXX MEDIA SUMMIT 2021, Adgully will be bringing a series of interactions with India’s leading Digital evangelists as part of our series on DIGITAL DIALOGUE.

Keeping a sharp eye on all the Digital developments and disruptions is Adgully’s industry leading premier property – DIGIXX. Like in the previous years, DIGIXX MEDIA SUMMIT 2021 is all geared to discuss, analyse, crystal-gaze and explore the world of Digital trends in a day-long event comprising Panel Discussions, Master Classes, Keynote Addresses and Fireside Chats.

In conversation with Adgully, Jaikishin Chhaproo, Head - Media & PR (PCPBD), ITC, speaks about how digital platforms have started growing and how will they cross TV spends in a long term; what will be the strategy of the companies to face future challenges in terms of skills and technology, how digital platforms are imparting training to people and much more.

With the accelerated transition to digital due to the pandemic crisis, how has this helped businesses scale up their operations? How do you see this shift to digital panning out over the next 5 years?

As a medium, digital has been growing consistently since the last 15-16 years. As a share of spends, it has grown from a miniscule per cent to 20%+ for most categories. With Jio aiding the growth for this medium in Bharat, the rise has been exponential. The sharp targeting helps seamless shift of money to the medium. No other medium gives this sharp a targeting. Monitoring surely is a challenge since there is no single currency yet. In the last 12 months, given the situation of lockdown, absence of fresh content on TV for some time, no new movies coming in – and a plethora of options on digital – the audiences started exploring and discovering content on this medium. This resulted in the time spent on this medium going beyond 3.45 hours a day. 

Brands with the objective of chasing eye-balls moved to this medium, and in the last 12 months the increase in spends has been apparent. Once single currency monitoring is in play, digital is likely to be equal to TV in the short term and likely to cross TV spends in the long term. The seamless movement of leading the viewer to buy from the same window is a unique advantage for this medium, and with brands now talking solely digital brand, the roadmap for digital is only North.

Digital and performance go hand in hand. How are brands evaluating and measuring their performance on digital as a medium?

There are metrics that have evolved for digital – while the CPM, CPV/CPCV exist. The key measure is ROI and CPC. In the absence of a single currency, some make-do algorithms are in play. 

TV +/or AV GRPs are being calculated and used. Currently, a digital plan for the HSM market will have equivalent CPRP to leading GEC channels. With the right data coming in, this will give us more robust numbers, and once the scale on CPC tips in favour of digital, coupled with the linkage to increase in sales, it is a win-win for the brands and the medium.

What kind of investments digital companies need to plan to face the future challenges both in terms of skill and technology?

The talent needs to reinvent itself very frequently. In the early 2000s, it was the same set of planners and buyers who were discussing digital. Over a period of time as the medium evolved, we have had digital experts emerging, agencies setting up taking a nibble of an expertise area. Today, we have digital agencies, social agencies, performance agencies, analytics agencies, e-commerce agencies...then there are agencies who have diversified from their core to set up digital arms – challenge is the quality of talent. Technically, one can get the certifications from Google and FB and set up an office. The brand exposure is limited and the learnings are happening on the job – at the cost and expense of the brand. 

From an advertiser’s perspective, most of the activities are synchronous and, with the right talent pool in the agency, can be well managed within. 


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