Digital space in India in 2012: How’s it going?

 

Just before the year began, in December 2011, I had stuck my neck out like many do, to make predictions about where I thought the Digital space was headed, in India.

As we are three-fourths of the way through with the year, I thought of taking a look at those predictions, and see how I have fared, or rather how the digital space in India has fared vis-a-vis my predictions.

And here’s the quick review:

Prediction 1. E-commerce or more specifically, online retail of goods, will continue to show fabulous growth: 

Irrespective of the challenges of Flipkart, to raise money mostly, the industry per se, has shown a tremendous growth rate. And continues to grow. So I would count this as a YES.

Prediction 2. The Group Buying / Daily Deals space will crack:

This was a bold one, if I may say so, back when I said this in December 2011. The space was hot, large investments were being raised, and it appeared like the hottest thing that could be. And yet, I think I got it right, when you view the state of affairs in October, 2012.

The space did crack! Globally as well as in India. There may be survivors who are morphing their business model to something else slowly. But the fundamental group buying / daily deals space is struggling. So this is one more YES.

Prediction 3. Media Buy Spends for digital will increase:

Bang on!! Our own clients have increased budgets many times over. And we read the same stories with other brands too. Annual digital spends in crores are reasonably commonplace now.

Heard about a leading private bank who had done 4 TVCs last year, and who are doing none, but instead, creating 80 YouTube videos. What do you say to that? So this one too, is a big YES.

Prediction 4. Marketing will get more integrated:

We are definitely seeing an emergence on this trend. The campaign we ran for Reliance, called Tweet-a-Tab was a classic case. It combined Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps, YouTube, Radio, TV, and an offline activation.

All in a single campaign. All working in synch, for a tremendously successful campaign! Others are happening too, but the trend has to get bigger still. So I’d give this a 50% YES just yet.

Prediction 5. Brand Pages on Facebook will have to fight clutter:

Oh, totally! And besides fighting clutter, these need to also fight Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm, to be visible to their fans! So a double whammy. And a definite YES to this prediction.

Prediction 6. Google+ will get an honorable mention in history:

Okay, so this has not completely happened yet. Google is giving G+ it’s all. And continues to fight. So I would rate this prediction as a NO, just for now. Let’s see the status on this by December 2012, though!

Prediction 7. Social Media embarrassments will happen:

These are happening. Daily. It would seem. Brand Equity covered several of these, and more have happened thereafter. So this one’s a YES too!!

Prediction 8. Online Reputation Management will be part of a brand’s budgets:

This is a big YES too. And we know it from direct experience, and from what we read and hear from the market. We have been getting lots of leads for companies very keen to do ORM.

And some at the highest levels of the organisation. Reputation challenges online, have started to hurt, and these are showing, and finally the ORM need has been strongly felt.

Our own exclusive partnership with the world’s leading Social Media monitoring tool, Radian 6 (part of Salesforce.com) has been very well received, also on account of this dire need for ORM services!

Prediction 9. A killer case study will happen, on Social Media, in India:

Ahh.. this is still an iffy one. There have been case studies, but I am still searching for the “killer case study”. So I will call this a NO. Not happened yet. Can something surprise me between now and December? I will wait and watch!

Prediction 10. We should see some M&A in the agency space:

Oh, how true was this! Not SOME M&A, lots of it! Indigo, Hungama Digital, Resultrix, Communicate 2. And at least a couple of others in the pipeline I hear, and which may be announced before the year is done with! So a huge YES on this one.

An overall score of 7.5/10 is not bad at all! And it may yet improve by the time the year is done with.

So heck, I was not too bad, was I? Inspires me to start thinking about 2013 now… :)

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Image Coutesy:  Mike Licht