Digital marketing: why it should be a strategic priority

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When the topic of digital marketing is raised in the majority of Indian companies today, the typical response is still either that it isn't important in their sector or that it's something that will be more relevant in the future.

“30% of our marketing budget is for digital” - Marketing Head, LG India.

“By 2022, 87% of total marketing budgets in APAC will be going to digital” - Criteo, Online Advertising Company

However, in our experience of working with leading companies across sectors as diverse as paper and real estate, we have observed first-hand how digital is already disrupting the way goods and services are bought and sold in even the most traditional industries. 

The strategic importance of digital marketing is based on three realities every Indian business must face up to.

1. Digital channels are key to your growth 

The explosion of the internet in India has opened up a variety of new online channels for companies to to sell their products and services.

According to TRAI estimates, the Internet population in India will increase by 48% from the current 500 million to approximately 740 million by 2020. In the same period, this population's online spending will more than double to USD $100 billion.

The falling cost of mobile data that is driving increased Internet access is also bringing new demographics online. The number of women and older shoppers (35 years and above) buying online will increase by 250% and 300% respectively.

With an increasing share of customers purchasing online, companies need to support their digital sales channels with effective digital marketing.

2. Digital allows you to decode customers

Digital is driving dramatic changes in customer behaviour across the decision journey from awareness to purchase and repurchase. As your customers rapidly switch between online and offline channels, the way to effectively track and interpret their behaviour is by capturing and analysing the increasing volume of 'digital exhaust' they leave in their wake. 

Digital marketing enables you to leverage these insights to dynamically influence your customers' at each step of their journey, through the use of highly personalised and targeted marketing messages. 

3. Digital makes your marketing measurable 

The new avenues of communication that digital marketing opens up have the potential to make your marketing much more effective and efficient. However, just as important is digital's unique potential to make your marketing measurable. 

Digital marketing analytics can track your marketing campaigns in real-time to see what's working and what's not. Allowing you to continually tweak your tactics to yield the best return on your marketing investment.

About the authors

Ksheetij Patel is associate consultant at Kanvic Consulting in Gurgaon

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