Emerging Trends of Digital Marketing in India


Marketing is something which is going on all around us. Marketing is managing profitable customer relationships. The basic objective of marketing is to attract new customers by promising and offering superior value and to retain and grow current customers by delivering satisfaction. Building customer relationships based on customer value and satisfaction is at the very core of modern marketing.

In simplistic terms, digital marketing is the promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. Digital marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it involves the use of channels and methods that enable an organization to analyze marketing campaigns and understand what is working and what isn’t – typically in real time.

Digital marketing is also known as Internet marketing or Online Marketing, but their actual processes differ, as digital marketing is considered more targeted, measurable and interactive. Digital media is so pervasive that consumers have access to information any time and any place they want it. Gone are the days when the messages people got about your products or services came from you and consisted of only what you wanted them to know. Digital media is an ever-growing source of entertainment, news, shopping and social interaction, and consumers are now exposed not just to what your company says about your brand, but what the media, friends, relatives, peers, etc., are saying as well. And they are more likely to believe them than you. People want brands they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized and relevant, and offers tailored to their needs and preferences. Digital marketing and its associated channels are important – but not to the exclusion of all else. It’s not enough to just know customers. Digital marketing helps the customers to know them better. To do that, marketer need a consolidated view of customer preferences and expectations across all channels – Web, social media, mobile, direct mail, point of sale, etc. Marketers can use this information to create and anticipate consistent, coordinated customer experiences that will move customers along in the buying cycle. The deeper they insight into customer behavior and preferences, the more likely you are to engage them in lucrative interactions.


Online marketing, Digital Marketing, digital space, e-commerce, online travel,e-tailing


Digital Marketing provides various benefits to both consumers and also the marketers by way of marketing more efficiently and effectively along with greater savings. It brings with it many benefits that are not available with traditional and offline marketing.

Benefits to Customers

Convenience: Customers can shop 24 hours a day from anywhere without going to store physically.

Interactive and Immediate: Consumers can interact with the seller’s site to find the information, products, or services they desire, then order or download them on the spot

Customers Stay Updated: The internet keeps customers updated through websites, emails, online adverts and social networking sites. Many customers can access the internet on the move through portable devices such as smart phones and tablets. Manufacturers and retailers can instantly update their customers through the internet.

Customers Can Compare Online: One of the greatest advantages for the customer is that they can compare products or services they wish to purchase from the comfort of their own homes. Instead of having to visit a number of different retail outlets, the user simply has to open different internet window tabs to compare prices or features of the product/service they wish to purchase. Many retailing websites offer the facility where different products they sell can now be easily compared. There is also price comparison websites that customers can use to get the best possible price for their products.

Clear Product Information for the Customer: Websites offer clear and consistent product information to all internet users. There is little chance of misinterpretation or mishearing what the sales person said as in a retail store. The internet has comprehensive product information whereas in a shop the customer is reliant in the knowledge of their sales adviser.

Transparent Pricing: Pricing online is very clear and transparent for the customer; customers can access pricing information from a range of sellers with a few internet clicks. Customers can take advantages of pricing that may change regularly or take advantages of special offers that last for a limited period as they can access pricing information 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Whereas prices for products offered for sale in retail premises can only be accessed whilst the store (or store telephone lines are) open.

Track Purchase and Choose Delivery Dates: Many websites allow consumers to track their purchase from when it is ordered through to when they are dispatched and delivered to them. This reassures the consumer and makes them feel that they are obtaining a good service online. Some sellers also allow the consumer to choose the delivery address for each purchase and select their own delivery date and time.

Reduction in Personal Carbon Footprint: Looking after the environment and the world we live in is important for many customers. When consumers shop online they use their cars less and their personal carbon footprint is reduced. Retailers can support carbon reduction by sorting deliveries so that purchases by customers living close to each other can be delivered on the same day. Also, digital products such as e-books, digital reports and online training programmes are downloadable or delivered online on real time eliminating the need of a physical delivery system. This saves a lot of time and resources.

Benefits to Marketers

Customer Relationship Building: Companies can interact with customers to learn more about their needs and to build customer databases.

Reduce Costs and Increase Efficiency: It avoids the expense of maintaining a physical store, costs of rent, insurance, and utilities. Digital catalogs cost less to produce than printing and mailing paper catalogs .

Greater Flexibility-Make changes on the fly: Unlike offline marketing such as placing traditional advertisements in magazines, newspapers, television, or a paper catalogs whose products and prices are fixed until the next printing, an online catalogs can be adjusted daily or even hourly, adapting product availability, prices, and promotions to match changing market conditions by changing a graphic or wording and do it without any problems.

Access to Global Markets: The Internet is a global medium, which allows buyers and sellers to click from one country to another in seconds.

Track Real-Time Results: It allows tracking real-time results using online analytics to determine how marketing campaign is performing. There are ways to track traditional marketing efforts, but most the time it cannot be done in real-time.

Target Specific Demographics in Advertising: It allows in targeting specific demographics such as gender, age, location, specific income levels, education levels and occupation.

Variety of Methods: There are various methods in online marketing such as audio, video, blogging, email, social media and on-going newsletters.

Instant Conversion Ability: Through online marketing marketers can get the ability to convert a customer instantaneously. This is not the case when evaluating marketing options in traditional media such as magazine ads, newspapers or television. Through online marketing not only potential customer’s information can be captured, but also capture a sale instantaneously by a few clicks of a mouse, when it comes to offline marketing it takes more time to convert a customer into a sale not to mention the person power it often requires.

Growing ways of Digital Marketing in India

With increased digital spends, and brands acknowledging the potential of digital media in making or breaking a brand, 2015 is posed with the challenge of channelizing the technology and enormous data into the right direction. Digital and mobile ad spending has increased exponentially over the last couple of years and estimates put the total digital spends to reach 30% market share globally in 2015 (Source: Magna Global). In fact, some commentators and studies also predict that digital ad spends will overtake TV spends before 2020. In India, we have seen similar upward trend in digital and mobile spends. A joint IAMAI and IMRB study says that the digital advertising market has reached to Rs 3,575 crore by March 2015.

The Indian digital landscape is unique in many ways. It is still behind the curve in many areas but at the same time, adoption of new concepts is much quicker than the more mature geographies.

Programmatic Targeting: The entire objective of digital marketing is to be present where customers are and in a more effective way. Unlike a print ad which remains same for everyone, digital ad has the flexibility to customize according to screen type and user demographic. Concepts like programmatic and RTB are already mainstream in the developed markets and we will see adoption increase in India too this year as brand managers begin to realize how efficient and transparent it makes digital advertising.

Despite some concerns regarding the transparency and the effect it will have on direct sales, concepts like these are here to stay, given that is the direction the world is moving in. However, there is a need for catalysts that can take upon this task and recommend the break-up of niche target audiences to media houses as there are no such entities yet.

Optimization of mobile affiliate tracking capabilities: Mobile as a platform is evolving fast and thus it takes lot of trials to have a perfect environment for affiliate tracking. Even the leading e-commerce companies in India started mobile affiliate tracking on apps towards the fag end of 2014. Brands will have to keep optimizing capabilities and have a platform independent tool for the same.

The “Ad Blocker” challenge: The nuisance value of ads online has become much more than what one watches on television. You don’t miss any part of the content when you watch ads on television. You would just have to put it on mute and wait. Online ads have become a necessary evil but are also paving the way for the future. The more one moves away from selling, only then will such ads work.

A recent Google study suggested that more than 50 per cent of all display ads are not seen by visitors. This is nothing new in fact, since a number of agencies and internet companies have been questioning how important display advertising is on digital and, especially, mobile for quite a while.

Looking at some of the campaigns and technology innovations, it seems quite likely that there will be an added emphasis on exploring new ways to connect with the audience. There are a lot of opportunities out there for brands to experiment with.

Shift from being measurable to being truly accountable:Basic forms of measurement, such as click-based attribution models, only tell us a very small part of the story. With more scale, accuracy and new measurement tools, marketers will be able to understand what worked and focus on what matters to their businesses: brand metrics and sales.

Personalisation is Key: Marketers have more information and tools to create relevant campaigns than ever before and people increasingly expect the ads they see to be relevant across all channels.  According to eMarketer, just 5 per cent of client-side marketers worldwide said they were personalizing extensively. As the target audience gets even more fragmented with respect to their means of accessing the internet, it will become all the more important to tailor content according to different tastes and platforms.

Video will rule the digital space: This is something that digital agencies have been preparing for over the last year. Video content consumption online is on an all-time high and this is only going to increase going forward. Video ad revenue is set to increase at CAGR of 19.5% through 2016, says a report by Business Insider; this is faster than any other form of digital ad. Companies like Facebook, Yahoo, Google and Vdopia have already made significant investments in video ad serving and we will see the fruits of this in 2015 and beyond.

Social media will find its destiny: Though no one denies that social media has been a revelation over the last couple of years, it is also true that the digital agency, client and the platform itself have been a bit confused about how exactly to approach the tremendous opportunity available to them. All this changed a bit with the extremely business oriented view that Facebook has been espousing since going public. Some of its decisions might not agree with everyone but it has proved that making money and keeping your users happy need not be mutually exclusive. With Twitter also seemingly is on the path of figuring out the financial aspect and the likes of Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram are not too far behind. We could see more social media platforms mature to true brand allies, which would be only helpful to everyone.

The Indian digital space will consolidate: Digital agencies are a dime and dozen these days, but do not expect this to continue indefinitely. We have already seen some major takeover in the space taking place in 2014 and this trend is likely to continue going forward.

The internet of things will be a reality with wearable technology: This might seem a bit futuristic. After all, wearable tech is still some way from becoming mainstream. But this does not mean that there is no meaningful market currently. A recent research stated that the wearable technology market was $14 billion in 2014 and could be worth over $70 billion in 2024 (source: Idtechex). Another research commissioned by Samsung called 2014, the “Year of Wearable Technology” and predicted the value of the market in the UK as £313.6 million. With major corporate entities like Google, Nike, Samsung, Apple, etc. working to make wearable tech cheaper and commercially viable, we could see the first marketing applications of this revolution become a possibility.


Market Size and growth of Online Marketing in India

India has an internet user base of about 375 million (30% of population) as of Q2 of 2015. Despite being the second largest user base in world, only behind China (650 million, 48% of population), the penetration of e-commerce is low compared to markets like the United States (266 M, 84%), or France (54 M, 81%), but is growing at an unprecedented rate, adding around 6 million new entrants every month.

In India, cash on delivery is the most preferred payment method, accumulating 75% of the e-retail activities. Demand for international consumer products is growing much faster than in-country supply from authorized distributors and e-commerce offerings. As of Q1 2015, six Indian e-commerce companies have managed to achieve billion-dollar valuations namely, Flipkart, Snapdeal, InMobi, Quikr, OlaCabs and Paytm.

India’s e-commerce market was worth about $3.8 billion in 2009, it went up to $12.6 billion in 2013. In 2013, the e-retail segment was worth US$2.3 billion. About 70% of India’s e-commerce market is travel related. According to Google India, there were 35 million online shoppers in India in 2014 Q1 and is expected to cross 100 million mark by end of year 2016. Electronics and Apparel are the biggest categories in terms of sales.

Key drivers in Indian e-commerce are:

  • Large percentage of population subscribed to broadband Internet, burgeoning 3G internet users, and a recent introduction of 4G across the country.
  • Explosive growth of Smartphone users, soon to be world’s second largest smartphone user base. Rising standards of living as result of fast decline in poverty rate.
  • Availability of much wider product range compared to what is available at brick and mortar retailers.
  • Competitive prices compared to brick and mortar retail driven by disintermediation and reduced inventory and real estate costs.
  • Increased usage of online classified sites, with more consumer buying and selling second-hand goods
  • Evolution of Million-Dollar start-ups like Jabong.com, Saavn, MakeMyTrip, BookMyShow, Zomato Etc.

India’s retail market is estimated at $470 billion in 2011 and is expected to grow to $675 Billion by 2016 and $850 Billion by 2020.According to Forrester, the e-commerce market in India is set to grow the fastest within the Asia-Pacific Region at a CAGR of over 57% in 2012-16.

As per “India Goes Digital”, a report by Avendus Capital, a leading Indian Investment Bank specializing in digital media and technology sector, the Indian e-commerce market is estimated at Rs 28,500 Crore ($6.3 billion) for the year 2011.

Online travel constitutes a sizable portion (87%) of this market today. Online travel market in India is expected to grow at a rate of 22% over the next 4 years and reach Rs 54,800 Crore ($12.2 billion) in size by 2015. Indian e-tailing industry is estimated at Rs 3,600 crore (US$800 million) in 2011 and estimated to grow to Rs 53,000 Crore ($11.8 billion) in 2015.

Overall e-commerce market is expected to reach Rs 1, 07,800crores (US$24 billion) by the year 2015 with both online travel and e-tailing contributing equally. Another big segment in e-commerce is mobile/DTH recharge with nearly 1 million transactions daily by operator websites.

There are nine pillars of Digital India Programme.

  1. Broadband Highways
  2. Universal Access to Mobile Connectivity
  3. Public Internet Access Programme
  4. e-Governance – Reforming Government through Technology
  5. eKranti – Electronic delivery of services
  6. Information for All
  7. Electronics Manufacturing
  8. IT for Jobs
  9. Early Harvest Programmes


Top Digital Marketing Companies in Mumbai

New sector in e-commerce is online medicine. Company like Reckwing-India, Buyonkart, Healthkart already selling complementary and alternative medicine whereas NetMed has started selling prescription medicine online after raising fund from GIC and Stead view capital citing there are no dedicated online pharmacy laws in India and it is permissible to sell prescription medicine online with a legitimate license.

  1. Web chutney (www.webchutney.com): This is one of the top digital marketing firms of the country.Their clients include Boston Consulting Group, Airtel, MakeMyTrip,  BookMyShow, TATA Motors, Unilever, P&G, HP, Microsoft, Calsberg etc.
  2. BC Web Wise (www.bcwebwise.com): BCWW’s digital solutions range from website development to online marketing that includes social media and search marketing as well as media planning and buying. The clients of this digital marketing company are Hero Honda,Airtel,Microsoft,ITC,HUL,Kellogs and GroupM.
  3. Avignyata Inc (http://www.avignyata.com/): The services of this digital marketing company include social media marketing services, online monitoring and more. Their clients are Inorbit,OVS Industry,Educationtimes.com,Shoppersstop,sony pictures,Bigg Boss,Big Music, Bloomberg UTV,Murder2,Movie I AM, Walt Disney Pictures and lot more Bollywood and Hollywood movies.
  4. Windchimes Communication (http://windchimes.co.in/): This is a social media agency that provides innovative solutions of brand marketing and social media management. Their client include Pond’s,GE,HDFC Bank,ITC Hotels, Sony Pix,Lavasa,Thomas Cook,Emerson,Sony Music,Ginger,Big Bazaar etc.

5.Flea Global (http://fleaglobal.com/htm/index.php): This agency has an illustrious list of clients which includes Coke,IBM,Harley Davidson,Miller Beer,Dewar’s ,The Times of India,Philips,Femina,Raymonds,KFC,Teacher’sScotch,BSNL,IBP,Indian Oil,Oberoi Hotels,ONGC,Stardust,Mumbai Police,Vodafone,SBI,Taj hotels,McDonalds,Air India etc.



The challenge of integrating digital and traditional marketing

Researches on Managing Digital Marketing suggested progress as marketers move towards integrated planning of digital and traditional activities, but there is still plenty of room for improvement with only one quarter of companies satisfied with their level of integration across digital and traditional communications and 7% fully integrated and optimized.


In the digital marketplace, content and its presentation are the most important factors that decide the fate of any online business. Easily accessibility and quality content can catapult the website within the top rankings. By creating and implementing a balanced marketing strategy, using both short-term and long-term strategies, one can drive a steady stream of targeted traffic to their web site. This simple strategy of any business can guarantee the success of online marketing. Companies would however have to be on the lookout for changing trends in the marketplace and use it to their advantage. For example, marketing through Facebook is a concept which is highly used nowadays especially by online shopping and airline bookings.













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