Expert Speak: All you need to know about the Open Web

Outbrain - The open web

In conversation with Social Samosa, on the role of Open Web in India’s digital future, experts share what it means to go beyond the Walled Garden of advertising ecosystems and how Open Web can revolutionize communication.

What is Open Web? And why is it important to each one of us as an Internet user? We find out…

What is ‘The Open Web’

Shouneel Charles, MD, Outbrain India shares that the Open Web is a collection of open, royalty-free technology which enables the web. This ranges from surfing the net, news articles, trusted journalism, a vast array of online experiences, and more that make up the online web.

A walled garden is a closed ecosystem where the operations are controlled by a single system operator. Something which is not a walled garden is an open web, highlights Hegde. Both concede that the Open Web is an enabler for deeper data-driven insights. 

“Given that there is a lot of scrutiny with marketers on budgets and other factors, the open web is better driven to leverage data-driven marketing for quantifying success, attribution, and better insights available at every stage of digital journey”, Hegde adds.

As the industry proceeds into the future, the internet is going to be a part of everything we do. Thus, it becomes more important to keep the web open to keep the power in hands of the users, share the experts.

Digital – A Boon For India Backed By Technology

Digital advertising in the nation has grown in leaps and bounds. According to a Dentsu Report, 3000 Cr of people in India will be mobilized on digital.

The experts share that the industry professionals have become very ROI-driven since every outcome is measurable. They know which media channel to use for maximum impact and growth. Further, there is a better understanding of the consumer.

Basis this, Hegde explains, “Digital is enabling precise segmentation with analytics and scale that we have never seen before”.

As digital continues to rule the roost, Charles quips, “The ingredient that enables this rapid growth and adoption of digital advertising is technology.” It has helped reshape marketing strategies year-on-year, he adds.

To elucidate it further, he says that the ecosystem of content creators is connected to the consumer by these tech platforms in the middle and advertising is a layer that is riding on the tech platform. It is servicing both sides of the equation.

The current landscape has gotten pushed beyond walled-garden. To preserve what the internet is while keeping it an open playing field, technology is ubiquitous to this business, share the experts.

Also read: Advertisers can now manage frequency of ads on YouTube connected-TV

With the third wave of COVID-19 or Omicron, more and more businesses have been making it to the digital ecosystem, in step with the consumer demands. Sharma discusses the broad Open Web trends seen during this phase.

To this Nair puts forth three crucial points that include the D2C push for consumers, huge demand for one-on-one commerce and live streaming, leading to continued movement towards digital in a huge way

In assertion to the discussion, Karnani shares that the content consumption patterns have changed drastically in recent times with advertisers not just using digital for initial phases of advertising but sustained phases, too. All the initiatives from social media to open media seems to impact the outcome of the brand campaigns.

Highlighting the regional market, Nair adds that there is about a 200-300 Mn audience segment in regional markets that can be capitalized massively through the Open Web.

Advice for Digital-First Businesses

Nair tells Social Samosa that the audiences have changed. “We are talking about swipe and tap generations. These audiences don’t understand the language which is text and images. Now everything is video,” he highlights.

Karnani adds that everything boils down to the clear TG. Define who you want to reach out to, he says.

Sharing some of the tenets or basics of advertising, he encapsulates that along with the TG, sustained efforts and being there for the long term, helps, while attempting to understand what is working and what is not

Sharma summarizes:

  • Diversify and reduce the risk essential.
  • On the open web, native is one space that these businesses should explore

Tips For New Advertisers On Open Web

As newer advertisers foray into the industry, the panelists share further suggestions for the Open Web and how to utilize it judiciously. Karnani explains that with the Open Web as the discovery system, marketers can use significant tools like Outbrain to deeply understand their audience.

Nair suggests that the emphasis should be on building communities for new advertisers and brands. “Here, I am speaking about the organic customers. These people talking about your brand is far more effective than any other entities”, he clarifies.

“Go live streaming to promote your brand. It is not going to be overnight but through sustained efforts”, says, Nair

Agreeing with the insight, Sharma, adds, “I call it a slow-cooked process.” Over time, focus on the lifetime value of the customer. Businesses are a long-term game. LTV is of utmost importance here,” he concludes.

Shouneel Charles, MD, Outbrain India, Angad Bhatia, CEO, Indiatimes Lifestyle Network (ILN)Siddharth Hegde, MD, Ethinos, Allen Sharma, Director Sales India, Outbrain, Sunil Nair, CEO, Firework India, Deepak Karnani, Director, OneNative Advertising shared their insights on Open Web at a Webinar organized by Outbrain and Social Samosa.

You can watch the complete session here:


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