There is an old saying in advertising which goes like ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is I don’t know which half’. This has largely remained true through the years for most media. However, with the rapid growth of digital media and attribution measurement, this has changed significantly for digital.
With measurement becoming easier, there have also emerged opportunities for marketers to measure ROI for every dollar spent. Affle’s Consumer Platform took it even further by simplifying and unifying the fragmented ad tech ecosystem and powering marketers to transcend to high ROI conversion-led CPCU model. We distinguish ourselves by continuously innovating and in 2021 laid out our Affle2.0 strategy anchored on 2Vs – Vernacular & Verticalization and 2Os – Mobile OEMs and Operators for the decade ahead with an aim to reach 10Bn connected devices.
The Next is Now
2020-21 was a defining period for the global tech ecosystem and mobile advertising in particular. Connected and digital experiences have pushed the limits for enterprises globally to transcend to mobile-first priorities. There has been a generational change in the way people now connect online, a volume burst in usage of connected screens and an enhanced adoption curve of consumers becoming online shoppers.
The ad tech industry in India and other global emerging markets is poised for continued growth and the top industry trends for 2022 & beyond would be around:
1. Vernacularisation : As more and more people come online in India, the percentage of consumers who consume digital content in local languages is increasing every day. The pandemic has also given a huge impetus to the consumption of vernacular content. It has been said for long that India is not one single market, rather a combination of several micro markets. Vernacular content and advertising is a true manifestation of this. As a result, advertisers are looking to leverage upon this opportunity to reach the next 100million new online shoppers who are likely to have vernacular affinity, in order to better contextualize their ads and improve response rates.
2. Connected TV (CTV): CTV consumption and advertising has already cemented its place in the western markets, especially in the US. India has also started well on consumer adoption of CTV. With cheaper and easy availability of Smart TVs & dongles (Amazon Fire Stick, Chromecast, etc.) together with compelling content propositions of leading OTT players are only going to accelerate this change going forward. As consumers spend more time on this device and content format, ad dollars will also eventually move in this direction as the India market will see growth for both subscribers funded SVOD (Subscription Video-on-Demand) content and advertiser funded AVOD (Advertising Video-on-Demand) content on CTV.
3. Hyper-Personalization: Hyper-personalization is the game changer within the ad tech industry. Hyper-personalization means targeting the right user at the right time on the right channel with a personalized contextual message. We see this marketing trend to continue, aiding the advertisers in providing targeted experiences to the consumers through segmenting and smart audience management with the help of technologies including data analytics, AI and ML. We believe AI/ML led contextual ads to drive app and product recommendations have just about started to take off and this will continue to grow significantly in this year and beyond.
4. Integrated Consumer Journeys (online and offline): Consumer journeys online and offline have blended together, making the ad spends consumer-focused rather than media-focused. The consumer is present across multiple channels and what the advertiser wants is to reach out to the consumer across online & offline channels to drive incremental engagements at the right time, right channel, right content and the right price. Affle platforms spans across the consumer journeys, enabling the advertiser to take a single view of the consumer and engage him/her across multiple touchpoints in both the online and offline space, with online targeting, omnichannel marketing, proximity marketing and Drive-to-Store campaigns with incremental footfall measurement in real time.
5. Out-of-home and Geotargeting: Out-of-home (OOH) advertising is making a comeback. However, we are not talking about traditional billboards as OOH options now have become a lot more sophisticated. Advertisers can use programmatic geolocation signals and blend online & offline usage data to better connect with their audiences on the go. While the pandemic led lockdowns impacted this industry negatively in the previous year, we expect 2022 to be the time for it to bounce back with the growth being driven through greater adoption of programmatic.
6. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR & VR): The increase in the popularity of Augmented / Virtual Reality is nothing new. However, after the pandemic, there has been a significant acceleration in its use. AR, VR offers multitude of possibilities for brands to engage with consumers both online & offline, in real world or virtual, drive branding campaigns, in-store navigation and innovative online product discovery-cum-trial that mirrors a physical shopping experience.
Combined with AI, Mixed Reality (MR) having AR & VR blended together can become an extension of the human senses. Some of the global brands have been an early adopter of this technology to open 24×7 Virtual Malls with online shopping experience for one’s virtual avatars or for the famous gaming characters, design to test online models of home decor, celebrity endorsements without incurring a hefty fee for the celebrity’s physical presence across multiple locations as well as personalized marketing, revolutionizing brand and retail commerce.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.