Looking ahead @ 2017

02 Jan,2017


By Indrani Sen


2016 will go down in the media history as the year when globally mobile traffic overtook desktop and laptop traffic on the web. Google is writing a new mobile first web index to help mobile users. Mobile manufacturers and service providers are working against time, trying to make the mobile experience better than before. For media planners it is going to translate to putting mobile advertising first rather than also optimising for mobile advertising in 2017.


As we bade goodbye to 2016, most media experts around the world have been busy forecasting the trends in social media and online media marketing during 2017. I read a few interesting articles on www.forbes.com . One by Tom Ward spoke about  fivesocial media trends that will change the game in 2017 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomward/2016/11/22/5-social-media-trends-that-will-change-the-game-in-2017/#6336568d1d99) and listed Live Video Streaming, Messaging Apps, Social Commerce, Virtual Reality and Evolving Social Channels as the gamechangers. In addition to the five trends, we can expect ‘Pay to Play’ to continue on the social.


Another article by Jeson Demers described the seven online marketing trends that will dominate in 2017 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2016/11/14/7-online-marketing-trends-that-will-dominate-2017/2/#583e3aed11cc) and listed the Rise of Augmented Reality ushered in by Pokeman Go, Live Video Streaming, the Rising Need for Data Visualisation and Data Visualisation Tools, Explosion of Native Advertising, Niche Targeting by Brands, Rise of Immersive Experience Content Marketing and ‘Dense Content’ for cutting through the clutter of content advertising.


Some experts have highlighted‘Expiring Content’ and ‘Increased Personalisation’ while forecasting on development of content marketing and others have emphasised on need for artificial intelligence or Digital Assistants /Chatbots for success of content marketing.  As consumers think of new content and innovative ways of sharing them on social media, the platforms will grow steadily. We can expect an accelerated move towards standardization of the platforms through creating and sharing of video content and news. Social Media Analytics will play an increasingly important role for driving marketing and advertising decisions.


How will all the above global trends affect media scene in India? As per the last report published by Internet and Mobile Association of India, out of 257 million internet users in India, 56% or 143 million are social media users. The penetration goes up to 66% in urban India and goes down to 33% in rural India. We have still a long way to go before online advertising can dethrone TV advertising as the largest component of our total advertising pie. However, at the top end of the media market, we can expect to see manifestation of all the global trends discussed above. Indian digital advertising will continue to grow at the highest rate and will capture a higher share of the advertising pie in 2017 than 2016.


As far traditional media are concerned, print advertising seems to have suffered less than television advertising in the aftermath of Demonetisation in the last two months of 2016. Riding on the Phase III licensing of FM, radio also have managed to come out unscathed, but outdoor was not so fortunate. It is difficult to predict the media trends in 2017 as it is dependent on how long it takes the India Inc to tide over the so-called ‘short-term effects’ of Demonetisation. In another few weeks, we will have the estimates for media industry’s overall performance in 2016. I sympathise with the experts who are currently trying to work out the forecast for2017. The dream of Indian media and advertising industry crossing the Rs50,000 core mark  will probably remain unfulfilled even in 2017.


Indrani Sen is a media services veteran, having worked with JWT, later Mindshare and then with Emami. In recent years, she is an independent consultant and academic. She is Adjunct Professor in charge of the Media Management programme at the Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication, Pune. The views expressed here are her own.


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