Fear of Being Offline & other digi-facts

12 Jun,2015


By Dyanne Coelho


The first Indian Facebook employee, Kirthiga Reddy, now Managing Director, Facebook India left quite an impression on the audience with her talk entitled ‘Winning in a mobile first world’ at the 11th Marketing Conclave organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). FOBO or the Fear of Being Offline is a new term that is picking up in this day and age, she said. On Mother’s Day, India had the second highest ranking in terms of interactions with 1.8 billion interactions on the network. The older generation did exactly the same things we do, she explained, the only difference is that they did it in a different way.


63 percent of young people would prefer to give up TV rather than their phone, she said of a study. 62 percent of young people feel lost if they are not connected to social media. An IAMAI-BCG report estimates that by 2020, a whopping 500 million people will be connected to the internet. Back in the day, your kirana shop owner knew exactly what you needed when you walked into his store. That personalisation is missing today with the advent of the mass media, Reddy explained.


Satyan Gajwani, Chief Executive Officer, Times Internet, backed her up saying, “Technology allows the platform of digital advertising to enhance and create advertisements targeted at certain consumers. Hence we are seeing the growth of native advertisement, which breaks clutter and stops disruptive ads.”


“Facebook is constantly and consistently integrating virtual reality. Innovations on the creative side of the real estate industry has provided enormous boost to virtual reality concept. Brands are focusing on reaching out to consumers in a personalised and creative manner. And the digital platform provides the best solution,” Reddy said. Out of 1.44 billion people who are on Facebook, 1.2 billion connect to it on a mobile device; she informed highlighting the genesis of a mobile-first world. There is also a growing trend of visual communication, Reddy added. First it started with text, then photos and now the world of video is expanding. Reddy cited the example of Facebook’s feature that allows a user to watch videos without sound on the mobile phone. The feature that is one of the latest, plays a video without sound as the user scrolls through his newsfeed. This will allow users to watch videos on their phones even during a seminar or meeting at work, she joked. Marketers ought to strive to drive awareness and retarget their audience, she said. The ‘cookie’ the dominant web metric used to track customer behaviour online will soon be ditched as it doesn’t correctly evaluate business results, she explained. This is the mobile first world and if we don’t adapt, we will be left far behind, she said.


There are 150 million smartphones users today, and that number is expected to go up to 500 million by 2018. Digital is the new advertising paradigm, Gajwani explained. The internet is driven by smartphones and the amount of digital content being created is skyrocketing. “The 300×250 size banner doesn’t have the same impact today, spots don’t have the same impact either,” Gajwani said. Smart and targeted advertising and marketing with precise solutions is what will drive the numbers, he added. We ought to be enablers and educators of what’s working and what is not. “The opportunity to get creative is here and is bigger than ever before,” he concluded.


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