Mar.03

Digital Marketing is The Best Medium for Election Campaigns

TV Channels, and newspapers for long have been perceived as strategic for political communications, and for voters’ decision making processes but in recent times, Internet and mobile has changed the dynamics of political communication, political campaigns and party management processes drastically.

In recent times the impact of digital marketing in the political campaigns have also increased as the engagement level of voter on web and mobile devices have increased over years. This change has happened as the smart phones, tablets and laptops have penetrated both, urban and rural space. Moreover, politicians and political parties have experienced that mobile is very effective communication device in the media dark markets. It will not be wrong to say that smartphones, tablets, and laptops are the most important and powerful screen that connects and provides platforms to engage voters and politicians.

In my opinion, politicians and political parties have start seeing traditional media as a mode of entertainment. Moreover, for them it is no more relevant as it used to be a decade back. I am not saying that TV Channels, and newspapers have completely lost its relevance. It is still relevant and help political parties influence voters and form opinion but the relevance of new media such as web presence, blogs, social media, news portals and aggregators, mobile campaign, influencers engagement, bloggers outreach program has increased.

Traditional media is not seen as the preferred tool to win voters and serve the purpose of politicians and political parties.

New age media is seen as a rich source of information. Moreover, the digital ecosystem is effectively used to manage and keep voter’s attention. Ubiquitous reach is one of the exciting part of the digital marketing. It has also made it easier for political campaigns to reach target audience at a lesser cost compared to that of traditional marketing and that is why New Age campaigns ‐ digital marketing, mobile marketing, and social media have already become a key communication tool in political strategies. In recent past we have seen major success of online political campaigns be it Obama, Modi, or any other global powerful politician, their success can be attributed to a successful new age campaign.

The success of global leaders like Obama, Trump, Modi, etc. can be attributed to new age campaigns.

The Digital Marketing Journey

The success of global leaders like Obama, Trump, Modi, etc. can be attributed to new age campaigns. The first big digital marketing success was Obama campaign. Though the Obama campaign was first global success the first Indian success of political digital marketing was Modi Campaign.

The Obama campaign became successful not once but twice in a row. In my views, the dynamics of the Obama Campaign was different from the dynamics of the Modi Campaign. The influencing factors viz. geography, demography, internet and mobile penetration were different in both campaigns but one thing which was common in these campaigns were treatment of the campaign. I believe each campaign is different and we need to find our own parameters to influence and engage voters.

The journey of designing a successful new age communication is not easy. For a campaign to be successful, online presence of political party and politician must be thoroughly planned. In my views, and in simple terms, an effective online presence means being where your audience is in the digitally connected world. There are many ways to do this, such as web presence, blogs, social media profiles, social media engagement with influencers and voters, owning and co‐owning content spaces, and interaction on third‐party channels, etc. The effective online presence is not enough to win the game of political digital marketing, but definitely is the first step towards the success of the voters and politicians engagement.

An effective online presence means being where your audience is in the digitally connected world.

It is important to focus on the empowerment of voters. Indian voters now have seamless access to news, and information required to become active participants in the country’s democratic process. Moreover, we are witnessing vibrant and connected voters who are demanding explanations for all the acts of the political party, politicians and government and also advising political parties, politicians and government. It makes engagement with voters the most important element in the political communication. The issue of how to proceed further in order to achieve high level of engagement with the public can be addressed by answering several questions:

  • Is the Political party and Politician ready to engage on the new age media platforms?
  • Are they ready to change with changing media dynamics?
  • Is there a willingness to interact with the public on the new age media platforms?
  • Are they prepared to deal with criticism on the new age media platforms?
  • Do they have time to devote to what is created on the new age media platforms?

At first the answers of the above questions will help digital marketer understand the seriousness of the political party, or candidate towards digital marketing journey. It will also help digital marketer structure the digital marketing campaign based on the level of seriousness and engagement of the political party, or candidate. Once digital marketers have the understanding of the interest level of politicians and political parties in the digital marketing campaign and the level of engagement they want on the digital marketing platforms, designing a successful digital marketing campaign roadmap becomes easy.

Digital natives are the biggest influencers and their interest needs to be taken into consideration when developing digital political campaigns.

The digital marketers also need to understand that there are millions of voters – native digital voters who have developed a certain digital sense that helps them filter information better and faster. Digital natives are the biggest influencers and their interest needs to be taken into consideration when developing digital political campaigns. It is important to monitor behaviour of the digital natives on web, mobile, and social media on real time. The objectives of campaign monitoring initiative can be classified in following activities: Identifying influencers, identifying the voters who are in favour and voters who are against the political party or politician, creating relationships with voters and influencers, managing grassroots mobilization initiatives, crisis management, obtaining insights for content engagement, interaction and engagement with fans and followers, conversations with candidates, politician, and spokesperson of the party, evaluating for strategic information. The campaign monitoring helps us understand the voters’ sentiment and hence helps us design the political communication.

A successful digital marketing campaign can help us identify the individual who will cast vote for the candidate.

The engagement of the voters, social listening, and analysis of their sentiments is most important element in the success of campaign. We all know that digital marketing is mostly engagement driven and provide us with huge data for analytics. The data which we get form the digital marketing campaign can be mapped with historic data on voting habits and other relevant parameters to get sentiment analysis. The result of the sentiment analysis is used to define the course of political communication.

Point of View,Politics

Feb.16

Emerging Trends in Digital Marketing in India

In the last few years we have observed that there is a marked shift in consumer preferences towards digital media consumption as compared to traditional forms of media – television, print press, and radio. Digital media has not only gained importance as preferred choice of media consumption but also has gained on time share. Globally, people are spending more time each day on digital rather than traditional forms of media. Moreover, we have also witnessed that the digital media consumption pattern is also shifting from desktop to laptop and tablet and now to mobile. It will not be wrong to say that we are fast moving towards the mobile lead digital economy.

Global advertising expenditure across all platforms will grow 4.1% in 2016, reaching $537 billion.  – A survey by ZenithOptimedia.

The increasing popularity of digital media has provided for a paradigm shift in the global advertising spends. Marketers are following the changing trend and increasingly allocating their budget to digital mediums – search ads, display ads, social media, email marketing, and others. According to Technavio Market Research global digital advertising spend is growing at a CAGR of around 9 percent. Yet another report from Juniper Research suggest that the digital marketing spend is set to grow to $285billion by 2020. This new numbers suggest that by 2020 the digital spend would nearly double the current estimated spend of $160bn for year 2016.

The growth of digital advertising in India is also attractive and in my views, it has huge unlocked potential. According to the ‘Digital Advertising in India’ report, jointly published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, the online ad market will reach INR 70.44 billion by December 2016. The report also suggest that digital advertising spends is close to 12 per cent of total advertisement spends in India and it is growing at CAGR of 35 percent.

We all understand that this consumption shifts towards digital and social media has impacted customer’s mindset and is forcing advertisers to focus on the new platform – search ads, display ads, social media, email marketing, and others. According to CII-KPMG reports, digital advertising in the country is expected to cross the INR 255 billion mark in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 33.5 per cent.

Digital advertising spends close to 12 per cent of total advertisement spends in India – IAMAI and IMRB International report

In the last few years we have observed that there is a significant increase in content consumption on social media platforms. Much of this digital market’s growth both globally and in India can be attributed to the fact that these platforms are interactive and engaging for users. Since the customer engagement rate of these campaigns is relatively higher than the traditional media, advertisers are rapidly adopting it to increase customer base.

In line with global trends, the Indian consumer is increasingly consuming the content on digital platforms. Over years, increasing internet penetration, mobile device proliferation and availability of language content in all formats has helped fuel the use of digital platforms. The easy availability of mobile devices, improved networks, data connectivity, access to internet, and application development ecosystem has also helped increase the digital consumption as one can consume desired content anytime, anywhere. This growth in internet usages is seen both in rural and urban India. It is observed that social media and entertainment viz. music, and video, games, general search, and emails are the attractions of Indian mobile internet users.

Indian digital advertisement spends outperformed expectations in 2015 and is expected to cross INR 255 billion in 2020, states FICCI-KPMG Report 2016 

In India, the smartphone penetration has changed the digital content consumption behaviour. The content consumption in urban, and rural India is now being driven by smartphones. This has led to increase in mobile advertisement spends which has reflected a significant growth. According to FICCI-KPMG Report 2016, mobile advertising spends in 2015, were estimated to be at INR 9 billion, is now expected to grow at a CAGR of 62.5 percent to reach INR 102.1 billion by 2020.

Digital advertisement spend per capita in India still continues to significantly low in comparison to the top five spenders – U.S., China, Japan, Germany and U.K. According to the current growth assumptions, India is expected to be about 0.6 percent of global digital spend in 2015 indicating significant headroom for growth.

New Media

Mar.26