At present, the digital marketing trends cannot be overlooked, irrespective of the services, products or ideas. Moreover, with the growing culture of work from home (WFH), especially with the Covid-19 pandemic, digital marketing has become all the more necessary than ever. In order to be competitive, businesses are adapting various digital marketing trends like Artificial Intelligence (AI), data-driven marketing and Voice Search Engine Optimisation (VSEO). Again, gathering high engagements by posting videos or live broadcasts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or YouTube is also becoming more important. The ample growth in the digital marketing world and its dire need for implementation in businesses has called for digital marketing professionals and agencies. An article published by Business World stated that the growth of India’s digital advertising industry is now at 33.5%.
Digital marketing influencing lives
On an average, an Indian spends about 4-5 hours a day scrolling through social media, emails, and browsers. According to industry insiders, digital marketing is very much about influencing the audience online with mediums of content to increase a brand’s impact over the audience. Jay Rathod, Founder, Koffeetech Communications told BE, “Today everyone is on the internet consuming varied content which creates massive opportunities for brands to reach to its consumers in a much more analytical way. Digital marketing has influenced our lives to an extent of creating a need for a product or service that we didn’t know we wanted.”
According to Statista, India had almost 700 million internet users across the country in 2020. This figure was projected to grow to over 974 million users by 2025 - indicating a big market potential in internet services for the country. In fact, India was ranked as the second largest online market worldwide in 2019, coming second only to China.
The launch of the Digital India initiative in 2015 has fuelled online infrastructure which in turn has impacted the digital marketing growth. Media sources state that India has witnessed a stark rise in the internet population - from 69 million online shoppers in 2016 to more than 100 million in 2017. Industry insiders also feel that demonetisation was another effective initiative for digitalisation - which gave an immediate boost to e-transactions and pushed the businesses to adopt the digital payment methods and getting used to new-age technologies. Rathod feels that in future the government also needs to introduce schemes in helping the digital agenda that compensates the lack of resources. The government also needs to enforce strict cyber laws to prevent fraudulent activities which have surged with the growth of digital penetration.
As companies are focusing more and more on digital marketing, digital marketing skills are in demand. Statista data shows the number of people employed in this industry was 24.5 thousand in 2017 and estimated to reach 97.7 thousand by 2022. However, the lack of industry experience happens to be one of the major shortcomings of digital media professionals. The focus on theory rather than on practical knowledge in the curriculum is the main reason behind this limitation. The only way to create quality resources for the industry is to introduce a more practical led education system - especially in technical profiles like digital marketing.
Today businesses cannot wholly depend on standard marketing methods. As a result, everyone in the digital space is coming up with out-of-the box ideas and innovative technologies, making the industry more challenging. Reacting to this, Rathod said, “Irrespective of the ample availability of websites on the internet generating adequate traffic through ranking, competition and clicks conversion rates can be limited as a result of ineffective landing pages. Overcrowding of brands is also a serious concern dividing share of visibility of brands. A smart digital marketer finds a way to stand out in an ocean of ads. Innovative ads, curiosity building content and relevant channels are imperative.”
An article on yourstory.com states that the return on investment for businesses through digital platforms has exceeded that from real life platforms. Companies are today shifting towards a more digitally empowered set-up to make the most of digital marketing. About 70-80% of the population is dedicated to making purchases online and e-commerce websites like Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, etc are making waves with their influence over the market. Surprisingly, this digital shift is happening in a country where its two-third population have no access to internet or smartphones.
Regarding the future of this industry in India, Rathod said, “In the coming years, we will witness digital media taking on a major share of marketing over traditional methods as it has become imperative for any business to shift and extend their presence online. With an increase and ease in internet users, more and more businesses are promoting their products and offerings through this tool and it is one of the highest employment-generating fields - all set to create 30-50% additional employment opportunities.”