An after thought that is turning out to be very expensive
From the digital / technology industry, last few days have been both surprising and depressing to me. Like my colleague had rightly pointed out in his article on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-wipro-blew-sunflower-rahul-vengalil), I was utterly surprised to see how big brands like Wipro and Tanishq slipped up when it came to getting their act together in the digital space. Also, the comments on the article from some very senior people in the industry too indicate the lack of importance or attention the digital medium gets. These 2 incidents, ranging from a full fledge rebranding exercise to a simple campaign, very clearly highlight the fact this medium is still on the back seat or is always an after thought, especially in India.
Now what can be the possible reasons.
- Lack of reach like the traditional mediums?
- Lack of understanding of the medium itself?
- Lack of decision makers driving the growth of this medium?
- Lack of faith in the medium due to inefficiencies despite being trackable?
I’m sure there will be many more such reasons. But let us take a step back for a minute and analyze some numbers. Digital is the fastest growing segment with an estimated spend of close to 15% of the overall advertising expenditure for the year 2017. While at face value 15% may not look like much, when converted to INR, it is about INR 9000 Cr (estimated).
Now, that is a lot of money. To make the numbers more human friendly,
- INR 9000 Cr can pay off Kingfisher Airlines’ debt to the Indian banks
- It is more than the latest round of funding raised by Flipkart
- It is more than the valuation of Zomato
- It is more than the the speculated merger deal between e-comm giants Flipkart and Snapdeal
In simple terms, INR 9000 Cr is a lot of money to be treated as an after thought. Going by the rate at which the digital medium is growing year on year, if this kind of attitude towards digital continues, this will turn out to be a very expensive after thought and the onus lies with the big names and brands to set the right example by making sure that every Rupee spent here is put to maximum use and every party involved in this is accountable. Only then will the medium be able to grow effectively and not just grow with any accountability.