What Ticks for Indian Consumers/ Teens – Dr Subho Ray and Sanjay Shah

27 Oct,2014

Continuing with our extracts from the second edition of the MxMIndia Annual, we present contributions by Dr Subho Ray and Sanjay Shah.



Reaching out to Digital Natives 2023


By Dr Subho Ray


To be able to foresee the complicated interplay of high technology and consumer behaviour ten years from now with any precision is a hazardous task and best left to astrologers. What is certain, however, is that the technology will surely change and so will consumer behaviour. What they would look like is anybody’s guess! In order to give you an idea about what technology and consumer behaviour are going to be in the year 2023, let me play a trick on you and take you back to 2003.


If you were 15 years old that year, it is likely that you did not have a mobile phone or a tablet, access to internet depended on the munificence of friends and family, accessing internet meant primarily checking mails or chatting. In other words, there was little scope for you to become a digital native. Cut to 2013. A 15 year old in India today has access to a phone or a tablet that is connected to the internet.


The access to internet is not only for checking emails and chatting but to access a wide range of information, prepare home work, access school website, build your profile on a social networking site to express yourself. In short, you are a digital native and since there are many digital natives of your age and interest there is a network effect which allows you to spend more and more time on internet – you seem to be spending most of your time on the phone or internet.




How effective a medium is OOH for teens?


By Sanjay Shah


Let’s first understand if OOH as a medium is, in itself, effective. In India, I do not think there is any precise study or research that would give an exact answer to the above question. While all advertisers and marketers would agree and believe that OOH works and delivers, it would still be a gut feel. However, if one was to derive a parallel from the international market, than BrandScience, a British media research firm, has a very interesting and valuable finding.


They have over the last three years, across eight countries including the USA, analyzed over 600 econometric case studies, to gauge the impact of OOH on sales results. Interestingly, BrandScience found, Outof- Home advertising has a high return on investment (ROI) across all categories. On a global scale, BrandScience found for each dollar spent on OOH advertising, an average of $2.80 was received in sales.


Interestingly, Television and Print advertising have a lower ROI, yet they receive a greater share of the dollar in the average media mix (source: OAAA). Now coming to Indian teens, their population today is 240 mn – a significant number which forms a very unassailable share of 19.8 per cent of the total population of India. (Source: Census India 2011). It would therefore be interesting to understand as to what consumes the day in the life of a teenager – school/college, homework, extracurricular activities, shopping, socializing etc.




A marketer trying to reach you would most certainly have to have a digital component in her marketing strategy in order for you to act as an influencer on your parents. By now, more than an influencer, you have also become an independent buyer and consumer of a wide range of digital products and services such as books, music, videos, ringback tones – anything that can be consumed in a digital form.


You have also not failed to note that many of the “real” goods like the Tantra t-shirt or the Levis 501 jeans are being sold online. In 2023, you would be 25 in your first job and a user of internet and mobile phone for over 10 years. You certainly don’t read newspapers and have little time for television.


There is no way to reach you and engage with you outside digital. Interestingly, there is also no way to sell goods and services to you without digital. With more than 200 million internet users, declining prices of smart phones and marketers and retailers jostling to get into your digital space, this looks more of a reality in 10 years that anyone would be ready to concede.



So then how and where do you engage such a huge and largely decisive group? Internet may not be the right answer to capture their attention, as a study by Harris Interactive, reported that 62 per cent of teens do not pay any attention to online advertising, 34 per cent paid little attention and 4 per cent said a lot. Nor would traditional media be the right answer as a significant part of their day is spent out of home.


Therefore, capturing their attention out of home, where they congregate the most would be the most ideal and effective. Teens respond to ads differently and prefer to encounter them in different places, and therefore though OOH media is the right answer, the larger challenge would be, selection of the right media, the right media vehicle, and the right location. But yes, OOH is effective.



Tomorrow: Tuesday, October 28: Men – Satbir Singh and Monica Tata


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