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Digital will account for about 35% of total media spends in 2021: Ajay Gupte

Shrugging off the disruptions of the year gone by, businesses and agencies are looking for a strong revival in 2021. Over the next few weeks, Adgully – as part of our annual TRENDING NOW endeavour – will be presenting the strategies and views of a cross-section of industry leaders as they go about reclaiming lost time and market opportunities and build for a stronger future, armed with the lessons of 2020.

For Ajay Gupte, CEO – South Asia, Wavemaker, the key priorities for 2021 are around – Setting up data capabilities for better consumer understanding & targeting, Content creation & deliver capabilities for Precision at scale, Influencer strategies for a more effective influencer outreach, and E-commerce capability for driving the ultimate outcome of purchase.

Do you estimate digital advertising spends to outpace TV ad spend by next year?

Digital has been growing at the expense of other media and TV has maintained its share at around 45%. TV continues to grow and we expect investments on TV to grow by about 18% in 2021. We believe that digital will account for about 35% of total media spend in 2021 and going forward it will grow at about a percent point every year.

What are the business priorities in 2021 leading to adoption of digital media?

Latest estimates suggest that close to 62 crore Indians have access to the Internet. This has opened up several opportunities for brands as consumers have been impacted in their purchase journey, right from discovery to purchase. Key priorities for 2021 are around:

  1. Setting up data capabilities for better consumer understanding and targeting
  2. Content creation and deliver capabilities for Precision at scale
  3. Influencer strategies for a more effective influencer outreach
  4. E-commerce capability for driving the ultimate outcome of purchase

The year 2020 led to a momentous shift in the way we function as a society. What is the learning for traditional media business to adapt for future uncertainties?

Yes, 2020 was a momentous year. It has taught businesses many lessons. The year dramatically affected consumers and the way they consume brands. Some key learnings for businesses have been:

  1. Trust is important - Given the uncertainty around, consumers leaned towards familiar and trusted brands. Brands that had invested in building trust over the years benefitted the most as they were the most preferred by consumers. This has taught us the importance of investing in the brand and of building a relationship with the consumer.
  2. E-commerce gains importance - With concerns on health and safety, consumers moved to online purchasing. Presence on e-commerce has become of utmost importance for brands.
  3. Data is key - Increased usage of digital meant that consumers emitted a lot more data signals making the usage of data to get a better understanding of the consumer behaviour along the purchase journey all the more important.
  4. Precisions at scale - Consumers are looking for localised information and are more concerned about happenings in their immediate surroundings. Communication and delivery, therefore, needs to be highly localised.
  5. Importance of influencers - Consumers are driven by content creators rather than communities as they interact with social platforms. Usage of content creators for influencing purchase decisions is gaining importance.
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