Running The Data Warhorse In the Business Track

By Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network

Dentsu Aegis Network is a leading, focused media, advertising and digital communications group that helps clients communicate and build relationships with consumers around their products and brands.

While looking at the over all picture one find that digital advertising and marketing growing two to three times the average offline advertising growth. The ad market as per the Dentsu Aegis Network report is growing at about 10-11 percent while digital marketing is growing up to 30 percent. That is a trend that we are witnessing for the last few years and as perreports this trend will increase. This means that almost 15 percent of every rupee spent on any form of advertizing in India is already digitalized. The number was as low as 4 percent  that will rise to one-fourth of every rupee that is spent on advertising by 2020. This has significant and profound implications on the media and advertising industry because many media owners rely on advertising asa key source of revenue particularly in their initial phases. This jump is facilitated by macro trends. The biggest trend is of changing consumers’habits particularly of the youngsters. They spend more time online for search, ecommerce purchase or entertainment. Where as, the older generation is also now moving to online commerce, that is registering a good growth.

"Digital has the advantage of using data intelligently and bringing in more AI with ML while fine tuning it to reduce wastage through better use of data"

But on a macro level, Jio  the launch of which catalysed a significant drop in data rates, has spurred digital communication and advertising marketing to a level that cannot be ignored. Dropped rates increased the video consumption, that takes a lot of data. The drop in data prices is almost to 10 percent of earlier levels and that has resulted in increased use of data bases in digital advertising and marketing. Also the hand set prices  have  dropped  significantly. More and more people are coming into the ambit of higher bandwidth with lower cost data availability and that is increasing the trend. Amongst the significant factor to arise in media and advertising sector is the video streaming. If you see the projected compounded annual growth (CAG) rate, one can find Video projecting itself to a very high level by 2020.

When it comes to spending in this sector, the biggest spenders are the ecommerce and telecom sectors followed by FMCG and BFSI that have huge potential of growth being large  spenders. As we are gradually moving from a 'mobile first' market to being a 'mobile only' market, we can see that of every new 100 internet users, almost 95 are coming from mobile. This makes mobile the key
driver of internet and e-commerce.

Media is the most measurable medium where tons of data is present and unlike any matured media, like print and electronic, there is no established agreed medium or platform. In digital there is no consensus on a common measurement or a common currency and thus every body is giving their own figures. Without a consensus for a single digital currency it can’t be streamlined, making the medium chaotic.

The beauty of the Indian economy is that right from the premium business to the bottom of the pyramid all are growing and provide a potential market. And we have that scope to reach all types of businesses
through mobile devices. Increasingly the consumers are leaving a digital footprint of everything that they do buying a ticket for movie or any thing. While some clients are having huge amounts of data, very few people are generating enough analysis with that data.

Various angles of Data Power
In coming times, market will start maturing and people will stop putting big data on a Power Point presentation for showing off and actually start using it. Certainly all this data becomes useful and robust and that's a large part of consuming class. Now we have to graduate from just talking to actually utilizing big data because data holds the power of focusing your advertising to the audience that you want to deliver to. As the famous saying goes half my money in advertising is wasted but I don't know which half. If Mercedes wants to sell a car,then advertising on TV will cater to millions of people but the target audience may only be a 100-200 that you actually need in a city. Digital has the advantage of using data intelligently and bringing in more AI with ML while fine tuning it to reduce wastage through better use of data. You can make sure that advertising is going to the right audience. Off course the corollary of this is also that hand in hand AI and automation processes will have their own implications. Through AI, we ran an experiment where digital copies of various texts for ads were asked to be generated with computers instead of writers. In 8 out of 10, the computer wrote better articles within 30 seconds and that provedone thing that, several parts of businesses which are either mechanical or repetitive can be done away with through automation. This has implications on jobs especially in the media section which could be halved in years to come. In coming years, the current shape and form of advertising department won’t exist. It means you have to retrain, upgrade and upskill constantly.

In this AR/ VR, the consumer expectation is changing eg where you need no brochures and need only a walk-through with VR. Al-ready  incorporated  in  real estate, pharma, health sector and etc across
India,  we  have  an  advantage  on ecommerce. The reason behind this is that the first proponent  of this is the Indian railway used by the huge number of people for ticket booking . Generating  tickets  is  an
extended arm of ecommerce which people  hardly  recognize.  Hence, with its adoption rate, India can surprise anyone as, in India, we usually leapfrog a generation.   

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