Growth expected to be in video: Chaitanya Prabhu, Zapak

24 Jun,2013

By Johnson Napier

 

Despite the challenges being presented, the year 2012-13 was a decent one for Zapak Digital as business grew by a significant amount. In fact the digital player is very bullish going forward as it readies itself for opportunities on the medium of mobile.

 

Chaitanya Prabhu, Business Head – India, Zapak Digital Entertainment reveals to MxM India that its primary focus is to build up the mobile gaming business by offering high quality mobile games that can be enjoyed by casual gamers across platforms and across the world. Along with that, he reiterates, the agenda for this year is also to focus on Advergaming & SMM by reaching out to brands with refreshing ideas and pitches.

 

How would you summarize 2012-13 for Zapak Digital in India? Were you able to achieve growth targets as per expectations?

The year 2012-13 was challenging and exciting for us, as the business landscape was changing rapidly with the focus moving to mobile. We see great opportunities on mobile and that is why we altered our strategy to ensure that we maximize this big opportunity that will be the focus area going forward. We managed to grow our business in 2012-13 and we are going to be very bullish going forward as we prepare ourselves for the opportunities on mobile.

 

How has the digital market evolved in India over the past few months given that new trends get thrown up almost every day?

The online advertising market in FY12-13 has represented a growth of approximately 30 percent, and the share of advertising on mobile and social media is expected to grow dramatically this year too. Although search advertising still constitutes majority share (approximately 38 percent) of overall digital advertising spends, we expect this year, social media, video and mobile to increase share of marking spends which are still a smaller pie. As a trend for last year, definitely 2012-13 will be a year which will be remembered for companies in India officially taking the social media plunge, embracing Twitter, Facebook and advertising on social networking sites as an integral and crucial part of their marketing plans, and using demographic information to target their ads appropriately.

 

How has the consumption pattern of the audiences changed with respect to accessing content on the digital platform?

We have seen a massive burst of app downloads. The app economy in India is growing month on month. We are seeing 200 million app downloads every month in the country and we see this only grow considering that the Smartphone penetration in India is just 11 – 12 % and expected to grow to 15 % in 2013 and continue growing YOY. Rich media with video is gradually ramping up in mobile advertising industry and advertising in Gaming apps are also helping with greater reach and conversions.

 

The next upcoming trend on mobile will be display to include rich use of rich media with banner ads which have capability to expand, offering advertiser larger space to communicate. We will also soon see relevant targeted Games that can also be placed within a banner to make user’s experience more interactive and engaging in smartphone devices.

 

How have the various verticals under Zapak delivered on the growth front?

We have the following verticals under Zapak including Advergaming, Zapak Portal on PC & Mobile, and SMM & Activations.

 

Advergaming – This is a big focus as we are seeing that brands need engagement activities that continue to build the brand. We are working very closely with companies like HUL, Cadbury, Hyundai, Maruti etc so that they can keep interacting with the target user group through the concept of Advergaming.

 

SMM and Activations We estimate total social spend in India to be approx 300 cr in FY 2012-13. Social media spends has nearly doubled in last 2 years. Growth area this year is expected to be on video. At Zapak, being aware of this we have made video as a key component of social media strategy and have worked on multiple client delivering them sharable videos which helps us develop an organic reach and better recall of digital campaigns. As brands keep asking for activations as part of their digital strategy, our activations team YOY keeps exciting brands with the way they are doing Phygital. With digital at its core, we have successfully executed couple of Phygital campaigns this year and were a runaway hit instantly with TG and were highly appreciated by clients we cater to in social media space.

 

Zapak Portal on PC & mobile – While we see inventory sales in PC grow as we keep seeing an increase in the number of visitors on the portal, we are seeing a multi fold jump in users accessing the Zapak portal on mobile.

 

What are the challenges you foresee for the growth of digital in India?

The biggest challenge in digital media is understanding of key metrics which are relevant and should be set as an end goal; second major challenge is Diversity- East to West, North to South, planning for a nationwide campaign or at a regional level, the interest, culture and tastes vary and is very visible in any digital platform. This is a debatable issue, as people use internet in the universal language English and covers the educated middle and upper class. True, but local flavours rule the roost. Thirdly it’s about getting it Integrated: Any digital campaign with its well defined goals have many platforms- e-mailers, SMS, ad words, special promotions on Social media and SEO and ORM which area long-term affair and many more to come in future. Each of these platforms has its own perils and should be approached with its own expertise.

 

Despite its prominence and ease of availability, digital has not found much favour with brands who fail to splash out sufficient budgets on the medium. What will it take for brands to take a proportionate liking to the medium?

Marketers should aim to provide innovative concepts that are relevant to the brand and have the capabilities to sustain consumer interest for a longer period. In case of the digital medium, the return of investment for any brand is user’s engagement. Once that is achieved, brands will be more open to exploring the digital medium and leveraging the abundant opportunities available.

 

What is the growth plan for Zapak Digital for 2013-14 in India?

Our primary focus is to grow our mobile gaming business by offering high quality mobile games that can be enjoyed by casual gamers across platforms, across the world. Along with that, the agenda for this year is also to focus on advergaming and SMM by reaching out to brands with refreshing ideas and pitches.

 

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