- As per the GroupM futures report ‘This Year, Next Year’ (TYNY) 2022, the ad spends are estimated to reach 107,987crs in 2022.
- This represents the estimated growth of 22% for the calendar year 2022.
- India to be the fastest-growing market among the top 10 global markets and retains its 9th rank in 2022.
The pandemic has fundamentally altered ways of working across industries. We set up a quarterly “new Normal Tracker” in 2020, to understand shifts in consumer habits and behaviour. This tracker identifies the “desire for flexibility” as the primary reason for people to shift jobs.
This has resulted in a huge rise in the gig economy, which is slated to grow at a CAGR of over 17% for the next 3 years. This is increasingly common across service industries, including media and advertising.
Content creation as a vocation will move towards Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). Even if their craft involves the physical world (production, shoots, etc) the next generation of content professionals are likely to find the work culture of DAOs more appealing. Today DAOs are able to hire, collaborate with creators and also pay them entirely within the metaverse.
The advent of 5G will further power this trend. This could translate to shifts in business models, with fluid, specialist team structures, measurement- based entirely on outcomes and a revamp of remuneration and recognition models.
2. Consumer sensitivity & sustainability impact brand marketing
While the global trend towards sustainability and inclusiveness started a few years ago, this trend has gained tremendous traction in India over the past 18 months. Our “new Normal Tracker” throws up some very interesting insights:
- Sustainability is a stronger driver than ever before - the Q4 2021 tracker has over 80% respondents agreeing to the statement “I am more aware of the impact my actions have on the environment” – up from 73% in Q4 2020
- 81% agreed that the progress being made on gender equality was a “Source of Happiness”
- 78% felt that media platforms & content should be more inclusive of underrepresented communities (LGBTQIA, differently-abled, etc.) and 84% felt that brands need to do more to make their products more accessible to the differently-abled communities
- We have also seen a marked rise in interest and conversation around Plant-based proteins, electric vehicles and a more sustainable lifestyle overall
This has implications for media as well, with a focus on sustainable or Carbon-neutral media plans. We will see increased use of Carbon Calculators which identify the elements of a media plan where carbon needs to be offset. This is in line with shifts we have already seen in markets like the US and UK and will involve strong partnerships between agencies & media owners to drive this. Inclusivity and sensitivity will also play a stronger role in the choice of media platforms and influencers going forward
3. The next generation of digital experience will be driven by decentralization
The Web3.0, Metaverse and NFTs are all making headlines with pundits and promoters using these terms to communicate visions of a decentralized and virtual-first future. Fundamentally, these emerging technologies are harbingers of a developing cultural shift that may unfold over the next decade as a generation of consumers who live primarily in virtual worlds comes of age.
Web 3.0 is the next stage of the web evolution that would make the internet more intelligent or process information with near-human-like intelligence. In Web 3.0 - users won’t distinguish between physical & digital experiences. They will expect work, friends, goods, and experiences to be connected virtually. This interconnected, live, persistent virtual world is also popularly known as the Metaverse.
Brands would start leveraging this virtual world as well as components powering the virtual worlds to build brand experience & assets, drive the consumer to connect, associate with the cause, build loyalty, own a moment or drive real or virtual sales.
The new virtual world will also come with its own challenges and learning curves for the ecosystem. We helped three of our brands to participate recently in the first Metaverse wedding and integrate brand experience and narrative.
4. Privacy-first leveraging of data to build stronger consumer connections
On January 25, the Google Chrome team announced that they were replacing the FLoC Privacy- Preserving API proposal with a new “Topics” API proposal, which presents an updated approach to supporting interest-based advertising via the Chrome Browser. Google’s pivot from FLoC to Topics indicates a key shift in Chrome's approach to enhancing their privacy-preserving advertising solutions.
We believe in a future of multiple privacy-preserving solutions that help create a more responsible advertising ecosystem, including Chrome’s Privacy new initiative – there’s no single solution to manage Cookie deprecation.
We have spoken about the importance of first-party data earlier. Marketers have already dialled up focus on first-party data and we see broad-based use cases emerging out of first-party data. The role of panel-based data will grow as it will bring unique and differentiated signals to the mix.
Finally, the way the data comes together is evolving in terms of technology and techniques used to combine various signals. We are strengthening our capability in this space and Choreograph will play a significant role in our journey.
5. Commerce becomes all-pervasive, powered by persuasion
Across town class & cohorts, powered by KOLs, Content, influencer & Social.
We all know about the moment of truth when the consumer encounters the product. But the zero moment of truth today is when he / she encounters the brand experience first through creator /
influencer content across platforms. This is actually as much a Tier II & III phenomenon as it is Tier I, as the creator ecosystem from small towns have gained exponential traction.
And this phenomenon is driven by three important forces – one is the brand-led focus, driven by the D2C initiatives that brands are undertaking. Second is the community-led commerce which is driven by group buying models that are growing at a great clip and finally, the KOL-led social commerce models which include creator-led content to commerce.
Hence overall, commerce as a component of content will become more integral and not just an exception anymore.
6. Transformation of the creator ecosystem
Creators will be able to monetize their content directly through platforms like Substack and podcast subscriptions – something that platforms like Spotify are piloting successfully globally. What this will do is to decrease the dependence of the creator on algorithmic advertising models and help them with sustenance even before they hit scale. This subscription based model is a big change from the YouTuber era of advertising based revenue models for creators. In the coming days both these models will grow simultaneously and with synergies.
7. Boom-time for sports business in India
2022 is expected to create history in the Indian sports media rights landscape. IPLs media rights are expected to be announced followed by ICC and BCCIs home series. Improved mobile internet infrastructure and increased consumption of OTT platforms has made this sector extremely competitive and hence also on the driver’s seat for these media rights. Today live sports remain unique and most sort after considering its promise of appointment viewing and sustained audience interest. This has also caught attention of the global private equity players and you can now see the PE money coming into the world of sports in India. We have seen PEs investing in sporting teams, sport leagues and fan engagement initiatives and sports content. This is just the beginning, and we should watch this space very closely.
This year esports debuts in the Asian Games, we will have our own India contingent competing and the international level which will keep the audience interest alive and adding to the current base. Last 2 years have seen a massive scale up in the world of gaming. Going forward gaming and esports will see increased investment and physical events will add flavour and excitement to viewer experience and overall product offering.
What started in 2021 will continue taking shape in 2022 as well, the world speaks about NFTs, fan tokens and digital collectables passionately. Platforms and rights creators will continue testing different ownership models to determine the optimal balance of fuelling consumer demand and maintaining intellectual rights. There will definitely be a lot of moulding and remoulding but it is only going to make it exciting for brands and open newer avenues for consumer engagement.
8. Advanced Intelligence to counter digital fragmentation
With the receding impact of cookies and rising data privacy laws; Advance Intelligence is the saviour in this digital marketing and advertising data explosion. Also, Humans are unable to process the huge amount of marketing and digital data points that are hitting them every second, in volume, variety and velocity.
The use of AI and ML will lead to advance data processing capabilities bringing excellence in execution by automating, auditing, reporting and analyzing digital campaigns. Marketers will accelerate the use of the algorithms to find numerous permutations and combinations to deliver performance/ROAS. Customers demand relevance and resonance from the advertising they see. AI-ML will be used to predict personalization.
Automated Content Recognition will be required to understand what content works for what audiences to what is trending in the marketplace on all types of public content.
9. Performance orientation powers the full funnel of marketing
Performance marketing historically has been attributed to last-mile conversion and metrics. Marketers only focusing on the lower funnel and not appropriate weightage on top and middle funnel; have already seen the performance numbers drying up or not scaling.
In 2022, many advertisers will move away from last-click/mile attribution models; and ensure that media money spend on Top and Middle funnel are accounted for performance on how its influences conversions or outcomes.
Performance marketing will continue to hold its sway – to convert, conquest in-market audiences; but awareness and engagement spends will have to show the outcomes that lead to that performance.
A full-funnel performance marketing approach is more than a campaign. It’s a combination of brand building and performance channels through interlinked teams, measurement systems and joint KPIs. Consumer journeys are not linear anymore, but funnels are. No two customers are the same.
Shoppers can enter the funnel at any stage. Through the full-funnel approach, marketers can have one view of their customers – moving from the nascent digital adoption stage to an interconnected multi- moment one – where Life-times Value, Hyper localization, Hyper-Personalization, Federated learnings, New Customer Funnel can be improved.
10. Addressable TV becomes mainstream
With Smart TV, TV Advertising will become smart. From smartphones to smart TV’s; the Indian market is seeing a massive shift in how households are replacing their living room colour tv box with internet- enabled Smart TV. Now it’s time for TV advertising to become smart. A sizeable NCCS A household has completely cut the chord, or swap between on-demand viewing and linear feed, hybrid viewing in the new normal.
By end of 2022, we expect to have 12% of Indian TV households have a smart TV, truly connected to broadband and watching on-demand broadcast-quality content either freemium, avod or subscription- based.
Marketers and Agencies will demand the best combinations of TV and Connected TV plans depending on the targeting. Connected TV advertising plays a big role in ad experience, where 1 or 2 ads are stitched in the steam, unlike Linear that has a longer ad break; which has the risk of losing viewers attention and engagement.
Connected TV is the first step in making even linear TV feeds addressable. There is a huge impetus by distributor economy, middleware and tech companies to make linear TV addressable. With the success of Connected TV, broadcasters will have to embrace the tech that offers household targeting on linear feed too.
11. Evolution of offline media organizations with fluid content, formats and new business models
The dramatic shift in media consumption behaviour with simultaneous use of multiple screens is leading to a rapid evolution of what used to be known as “Offline media”
- Growth in the OOH industry will largely be powered by Digital OOH, which is currently ~5% of all OOH but projected to grow to ~ 25% over the next few years. This is further accelerated by the rapid expansion in infrastructure – airports, metros, Tech parks, and the return to mobility.
- Print networks will further leverage their core strength – high-quality content – by expanding their digital presence. Moving beyond web editions and apps, we will see more podcasts and usage of AR in delivering immersive content
- Radio is also undergoing a major evolution with social integration, podcasts, and phygital events.