Mumbai: India, a traditionally underadvertised market received a fillip from a recently released PWC report. According to the PWC E&M Report-2008, a CAGR of 18% is supposed to provide impetus for the industry to grow form Rs196.4 billion in 2007 to Rs453 billion in 2012.
According to global studies by JupiterResearch the CAGR of local advertising in this period will be 13%. Although there is no available India-specific study in this space, given its geographical dispersion and cultural diversity, there is ample reason to believe that this trend will apply to India as well.
Who are these local advertisers?
The existent framework incorporates large agencies operating from major cities. They cater to primarily metro centric clients. They are comfortable in their existing model. But the growth spikes are coming from the smaller towns of the vast geographical spread that is India.
Currently small/local advertisers have direct relationships with media houses since in most cases accessibility to agencies is hindered due to locational disadvantages. The needs of small/local advertisers are however expanding. For the typical first time advertiser or mid-sized entrepreneur to gain media mileage and propel growth of business base, creative and logistic input of the advertising agency will be in demand. But their required input from agencies will not be the same as some of the larger clients.
Hindi news channels on television are a proven example that working with local advertisers can be a two-way profitable venture. At present the internet platform provides a solution for these advertisers. Google’s software AdSense is a pretty portable and customized digital consultant. But it is limited in its scope (only online platform). To factor in the importance of personal interaction (a feature these advertisers lay a lot of emphasis on) involvement of agencies is mandatory.
What could be the possible POA?
Targeting these sachet advertisers, who have limited advertising budgets and infrequent media presence, is the need of the hour. Also their growth of advertising spends may be directly linked to their business progression. How the agency is going to cater to such a segment is the moot question.
*A franchisee model to fulfill the need for geographical reach could be a first step. Briefcase agencies; a popular term for agencies which are driven by a single person (in most cases the owner himself) in smaller towns can provide local expertise and forge relationships. On their part, they can cash in on their bigger counterpart’s prevalent Best Practices and knowledge base. Moreover if the client is looking at expansion in scale, the presence of a bigger partner is always beneficial.
* Creating a digital platform for integration and to play cupid between the advertiser and the media vehicle is another possible undertaking an agency can perform.
This setting up of a ‘flea market’ for media inventory will include accessible information and transparent transaction. Giving birth to a playground which offers equal opportunity to an advertiser regardless of size may presently sound Utopian but is by no means impossible in the near future. From the agency’s perspective the provision of services will entail a difference only in the delivery platform.
Digitization will lead to a much needed crowdsourcing in this field. Given the large numbwe of technologically able potential contributors, crowdsourcing might be a sure catalyst for change. Investment in technical expertise might also enable agencies to function as independent entities. But the most important point to note is that the mindset of the fraternity needs to evolve. Time’s importance, thus, cannot be discounted. Perhaps these encouraging snippets can be chewed on while the market moans the ongoing financial crisis.
Indranil Datta is vice president of Mudra Radar and the views expressed here are his own