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From the omicron wave and shutdowns at the beginning of the year to the Russia-Ukraine war, inflation and the global recession, 2022 has not been a good year for everyone in the world of advertising and media.

Many consider the year to be the first “normal” year of the pandemic when business and consumer sentiment returns to pre-Covid levels. It has been a year when the effectiveness of the products that flourished during the violence has been tested. Marketing strategies are emerging rapidly in 2022. Brands focused on powerful advertising that put more faith in content creators than celebrity endorsers. Big churns keep marketers on their toes.

e4m reached out to some of the industry’s top marketers, asking how they will remember the year 2022, and which platform, they think, can provide the highest ROI in today’s times. See what they say.

Rajiv Dubey, Head-Media, Dabur India Ltd

After two years of Covid-19 shutdowns and restrictions, one hoped that this year would bring relief. But that didn’t really happen as the year started with omicron in January and was followed by the war in Ukraine in February. The war led to devaluation, which resulted in less demand for certain classes. The holiday season was intense, and one hopes that as inflation eases, volume growth will reach high single digits in the coming months. However, the automobile, travel, airplane, hotel industry people are laughing all the way to the bank.

Similarly, growth in the television industry in terms of viewership was negative. In 2022, television consumption has decreased compared to the previous two years. Bad news for television is that digital advertising grew rapidly and saw almost 90% growth over last year’s figures. As more money flows into the operating side of the business, one sees a reduction/adjustment of costs in app-based businesses, iecom, edutech and a decline in the crypto economy. The digital business, however, is still likely to grow by low double digits next year.

Platform that offers the best ROI: Influencer marketing has seen tremendous growth in the last few years, which is likely to grow even more. Although it is difficult to predict what will work better in terms of ROI, I sincerely hope that sports start to provide better ROI.

Dipali Patwa, Group Head, Brand, Digital and Community, Fabindia

This year was the year of the creative customer. Content marketing, more than ever before, is consumer driven. The advertising and marketing business has been and will continue to be diverse, inclusive and connected to the real needs of customers. Marketing has gone beyond branding and advertising and brands are adapting to create great customer experiences and engage them for long-term loyalty. Post pandemic, 2022 has changed the behavior and attitudes of consumers, suggesting strategies and marketing plans for products.

There are five disruptive central shifts that have influenced consumer attitudes, engagement and behavior – digital and mobile shopping, localization of marketing, experience-led sales and personalization at scale, live and chat commerce, social accountability and sustainability and the growth of the crib economy.

Best ROI Platform: Seamless customer experience from initial passion to after-sales customer service, customer-centric culture throughout the customer journey; a business that delivers quality information across all channels will likely deliver ROI. Simply put, focus on “word of mouth” and “real life customer service” but use digital tools and data to meaningfully engage consumers and help solve their needs. Simple privilege!

Maneesh Krishnamurthy, Marketing Head-Eyecare Division, Titan Company

This year, it’s back to love the brand. 2022 saw the return of brand building and storytelling. The top concerns expressed by marketers were the rising cost of new customer acquisition and the over-indexing of marketing performance. Product budgets returned after a two-year hiatus and the discussion of building successful channels through product love was welcomed again.

And, this year, the brand’s endorsers weren’t just celebrities. The trend of the founders and present consumers in marketing has taken a big step.

Platforms that offer the best ROI: Connected channels (PhonePe, Paytm, Jio and GooglePay) have surpassed social media (Google and Facebook) in consumer efficiency. We were also surprised by the continued effectiveness of SMS on WhatsApp in retaining customers.

Naveen Murali, Head of Marketing, Pepperfry

The past two years have seen rapid growth in online advertising. The rise of influencer content, short-format videos, chat commerce have all paved the way for limitless opportunities for brands to explore new formats and engage with audiences almost anytime, anywhere.

At Pepperfry this year, we reached out to our consumers across all channels, be it TV, outdoor, digital, audio platforms or others, depending on the campaign. Our Diwali 2022 campaign, ‘Pepperfry Meme Superstars’ with brand ambassadors Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan was a one-of-a-kind 360-degree campaign where we brought this integration of online and offline worlds, through ‘MemeVerse. ‘ idea.

Platform that offers the best ROI: Digital should continue its bullish performance given the high return visibility and generally, the high ROI. Within digital as well, it would be interesting to see how brands monetize beyond traditional SEM and shopping channels. Influencer-led advertising is also expected to be bigger and at the same time, better shaped as trends come into place. We also hope that it will be a year where we can find out how to profit and monetize new channels better, for example metaverse. The miracle I think can come from traditional formats reinventing themselves, providing better tracking and thus better ROI.

Pragya Bijalwan – Chief Marketing Officer, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals

The year has been challenging and exciting at the same time. After two years, people started coming out of their homes, celebrations returned to pre-covid times and life returned to normal. However, the war in Ukraine, inflation and global inflation dampened overall business sentiment. However, as an organization, we remained committed to investing in product-building initiatives across our key divisions.

We were working in an influential place in India; IPL and top TV channels on key channels across India during the crucial summer season. We have increased our spending on digital platforms significantly, knowing that more than 80% of information searches happen online while the majority of sales still happen through traditional channels.

Digitally, we have significantly increased our presence on high reach platforms like YouTube, Google Search and social media to raise awareness.

The platform that gives the best ROI: The number of smart TV and OTT users exceeds 1bn now. With this, the role of connected devices is growing and marketers will use it wisely to target the right consumers with selected content. Data suggests that streamers spend 66 hours per week watching video content and 64% pay more attention to ads found on streaming services (more than 3X the attention driven by video ads on social media and websites). With higher engagement on broadcast platforms, CTV’s role will grow and advertisers will tend to get higher ROI with the right content.

Tanveer Khan, GM, Brand Marketing, Dunzo

This was the first year for us when it comes to national campaigns. Previously, we focused on growing the brand and building the q-commerce category through digital channels and targeting, a strong content strategy, and brand communication on select channels and social media. In 2022, we decide to take a step further and be a part of national events like IPL.

The year also provided an opportunity for us to explore and learn about campaigns like Fridgesh Coolkarni, QR Code TVC, and Bored Games that got a lot of success and love for the brand, helping us grow the category and business. Through other campaigns like Dunzo Wali Diwali and city-specific campaigns, we have learned consumer preferences, buying behavior and intent, which we will replicate and scale across India next year.

Platform that offers the best ROI: There is a huge opportunity in the regional and HSM (Hindi Speaking Market), which is getting a lot of attention and traction from all age groups and will definitely be the prospect of the coming years.

Another trend is sports. Although cricket is still the most popular sport in our country, other sports events like kabaddi, badminton, and football are seeing the audience getting a new enthusiasm for them. These new trends will open new doors for marketers to find new places.

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