In the 90s, the concept of digital and Internet marketing seemed like an adolescent idea that would soon fade away. Traditional marketers were extremely skeptical about it, and business investors and marketing consultants throughout the world proclaimed that it was merely a Silicon Valley idea that would go bust from boom.
In India, things looked even more pessimistic. A country of 1 billion people who had grown used to ads on painted movie posters, cable television and newspaper print supplements about their favorite products – India seemed like a country that would be least convinced to go for things like Internet ads, social marketing and digital innovation. Adding to the cynicism was the fact that in the 90s, most Indians didn’t have an easy access to the net, and there weren’t as many cyber cafes as there are today.
Today, things have markedly changed. India has rapidly become one of the biggest social marketing audiences in the world. From MySpace to StumbleUpon and from Technorati to SlideShare – Indians are everywhere – and notice that I didn’t mention Facebook or Twitter. Indian marketing professionals today have thousands of digital ways to interact with their audience. An audience that consists of digitally proficient students who’re accessing their profiles in buses, working professionals who check their mails on-the-way to office, and even housewives who know how to access their online profiles.
The demographic advantages of Indian digital marketing cannot be overstated. Here we have a potential market which today has access through phones, cyber cafes and personal computers to literally millions of email/mobile campaigns. The one major aspect of Indian digital marketing that should shine in the future is virality. Future digital marketing concepts have the potential to go ‘viral’ as much as Indian blockbusters that have captured the attention of the Indian public.
The most striking aspect of future digital marketing in India is definitely its cost-effectiveness and interactivity. Also, there is easy accessibility – a boon considering that traditional Indian marketing had to face the huge hurdle of reaching out to Indian masses in the most resource-effective way. Indian audiences have the additional difficulty of linguistic differences – something that digital marketing can choose to stay away from. The future of digital marketing in India seems bright and beautiful.