2015 was a busy year for digital marketing. There was a lot of activity that took place through the year and it threw up a lot of trends. Being a highly dynamic platform, digital marketing had a lot of changes through the year.Facebook became one of the hottest properties in terms of advertising and if the trend is anything to go by, it will remain so in the years to come. Digital marketing as a whole, showed tremendous growth and became an important part of brands’ advertising budget. It offers great flexibility when it comes to adapting speed to match the customers changing habits and preferences across all channels.
We check out some of the hits and misses of digital marketing this year:
• Retail gained a lot of ground: As digital marketing continues to grow, so does retail. A survey conducted by MediaMath shows that 64% of retail sales in 2015 has been influenced by digital marketing. In addition to that, 78% of shoppers did their research online before making their way to the physical stores and doing their shopping. Seeing the success of brands like Flipkart and Myntra, more and more ecommerce websites have come up and people seem to have taken a liking to online shopping like never before. Flipkart and Paytm, the digital wallet, has beaten US Company, Amazon, in the app download section in 2015.
• Mobile everywhere: Mobile marketing has seen an incredible growth rate with 51.5% of digital ad spending being targeted to mobile devices in 2015.Prediction says that by the end of the year the total spends would reach $6.65 billion (£4.43 billion).The availability of smart phones at cheaper rates teamed with low internet mobile tariffs has given access to internet to many. A lot of companies have understood this potential and along with maintaining a regular website, they also provide apps that have been the buzzword for a while now. The budget for mobile marketing has seen a steep rise and has contributed a big chunk for the growth of digital marketing.
• Snapchat new tool to woo millenials: As the world progresses, the audience are getting younger. Brands have realized this universal truth and planners have been working on tapping this big chunk of potential customers. Digital advertising today is hugely influenced by these young millenials who have risen to be big spenders. Snapchat, one of the newer social networking tools allows users to share photos and videos that only last briefly before they disappear forever. Most of the users are between 18-34 years of age and 69% of them are females. Brands targeting the young things have started using it heavily to market their products in 2015.
• Instagram threw doors open for advertising: Instagram, the photo and video sharing app has fast emerged as a very strong marketing channel after Facebook as it threw its door open to advertising this year. Nanigans, a Facebook marketing partner, concluded that Instagram ad performances were similar to that of Facebook, after analyzing data on both social networks. The gaming and e-commerce industries have been the quickest to adopt Instagram advertising, according to Nanigans, with e-commerce campaigns generating slightly higher CTRs. This channel is also a favourite with a lot of fashion channels as the visual appeal is high here.
• More options in terms of digital payment: This year also saw a digital payment revolution of sorts as more payment options came to the fore. As brands aspire to seek more secure payment methods, digital wallets seem to have emerged as a hot favourite. Apart from Paypal, which was one of the most popular ones till recently, we now have Apple Pay and Android Pay. Apart from that, the Indian company, PayTm is one of the fastest growing one, Launched in 2014, Paytm wallet is India’s dominating mobile payment service platform. These are safer, faster and more convenient payment options than card or cash.
• Content demand went up: The need for content creators has gone up, whether writers, developers, video producers, podcasters, and speakers. Content has been referred to as the kind as far as digital marketing is concerned and the importance will not go down in the near future.
• Ads on Google plus: Google has thrown the doors open for advertising on Google plus after they brought it back to life but it wasn’t well implemented and the success rate was never known. Brands don’t have access to it though Google had assured that they can run ads from their adwords account. The platform was revamped with the feature of creating ad-friendly groups as advertisers like things built around common interests; it gives them clear targeting.
• Myntra’s app only strategy: Myntra’s app-only decision seems to have backfired as the brand plans to start its website services again. They decided to shift to app-only when they saw a lot of traffic coming from mobile. This decision was taken based on the company’s quick growth of smartphones as it claimed 95 % of its Internet traffic came through mobile and 70 % sales were generated through smartphones. But, in the process overlooked the traffic that was coming in through the website using computers. They ignored this chunk and business took a hit and there was a dip in sales.
• Snapdeal uninstalls: A record 85000 users of Snapdeal uninstalled the app following the remarks made by its brand ambassador, Aamir Khan, recently about leaving the country over the issue of intolerance. Little did he know that his words will affect the brand he endorses so deeply.Snapdeal became an immediate victim with the uninstalls and lower ratings that went to show the direct relationship between a brand ambassador and digital marketing of the brand.
• Digital India: The Digital India initiative of PM Narendra Modi made a lot of noise before it fizzled out. Through this initiative, the Modi aimed making government services available to commoners through the Internet and also connect rural India. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg expressed great interest in this initiative. Big companies like Google and Oracle too pledged their support. But, the fact that this initiative did not have any particular website to refer to for information proved a detriment. The meaning of Digital India was lost in translation and did not emerge the way it was envisioned by the PM. Instead it was limited to a fad and confused many.
• Net neutrality: This was one of the most discussed topics in 2015. Telecom companies wanted to charge for services like WhatsApp, Skype, Youtube and so on but net neutrality gives the power to keep the Internet open and free for all. As of now the debate is still on.
Stay tuned in to know the trends forecasted in 2016 of digital marketing in our next blog!