#SamosaTalks I see digital spends moving from 15-20% to 40%: Shekhar Mhaskar, Isobar India

Shekhar Mhaskar

Shekhar Mhaskar from Isobar India gives digital marketing tips to brands in light of the medium’s evolving nature.

Shekhar Mhaskar, Chief Growth Officer, Isobar India and a jury member of Social Samosa 40 Under 40, explains how digital spends are set to rise in 2020. He further explains that adapting to digital is what will help brands and agencies sustain.

Edited Excerpts below:

Marketing – then and now

“Marketing was quite different two decades ago”, exclaims the leader. He explains that the market has become more data-led and insight-driven marketing in recent times.

“The sheer quantum of the data, and the deep insights that we get from this help us to create the communication that is so tailor-made that we make the consumer willingly engage with the brand without forcing anything on to him”, Mhaskar points out.

On the recent developments in the M & A industry, Mhaskar highlights that since data rates have become relatively cheaper, marketers can reach even the remotest areas in the country. This factor empowers brand to be able to create result-oriented digital marketing campaigns with ROIs that are ‘measurable’ as opposed to the ‘traditional’ way of marketing.

Also read: #SamosaTalks Neha Ahuja simplifies Spotify India marketing strategy

Marketing Challenges

Speaking on the digital spectrum of marketing where the medium has come off-age but some brands still seem to struggle, Mhaskar remarks that marketers are certainly aware of the medium.

According to him, the change has to however be at the top-brass where the leadership teams have typically worked for ages using traditional media of ATL and BTL. The change can not occur until such teams use digital marketing for measurable communications on the medium.

“There is a lot of inertia out there. Once there is a momentum, they pick up to change from traditional to digital, we will see a sea of changes coming up, highlights, Mhaskar.

Digital ad spends are about 15-20% of the overall marketing budget. I think a shift from 10-15% to a huge 40% of digital spends has to come about so that the effectiveness is really seen by all the brand marketers, says the industry expert“.

State of Influencer Marketing

Mhaskar affirms in positive that while influencer marketing is certainly on a maturity curve, it is still farfetched when it comes to converting a consumer who is looking at the communication and buying something.

The job of the influencer is to influence consumers and create brand resonance, but not actually sell something to them. If such a thing is done, then the entire concept falls flat on his face, explains Mhaskar

The leader summarizes that influencer marketing can be leveraged for brand awareness but not to converting actual consumers as no consumer likes to be ‘pushed’ into buying. Also, the entire objective of the concept won’t hold true if the influencers start to sell as per Mhaskar.

Digital Trends 2020

Mhaskar points out that typically, marketing budgets keep on shrinking but expectations on ROI keep increasing. There’s no way to achieve this if marketers continue to have their budget on ATL and BTL or only on to the traditional ways of marketing. The best way to get the most suited ROI on reduced budget is by investing in digital.

So, the trend that I see in the coming years is the moving of spends from 15-20% for digital to 40%,” highlights Mhaskar

He further mentions that newer platforms like TikTok have the maximum downloads on mobile phones today. “Reaching out to those audiences is also very important”, he mentions.

Top Priorities for a Brand Manager in 2020

Top priorities for a brand manager to kickstart and triumph 2020:

  • Taking cognizance of the power of digital and using it in the best possible manner.
  • Investing in technology and innovations to give an edge to people, processes, and products
  • Last but not least – taking risks.

See the complete interview here:


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