It's an exciting time to be alive for marketers and brands. India's emergence as a mobile-first economy and the declining cost of internet connectivity has opened a plethora of opportunities to celebrate the consumer at scale. It is anticipated that by 2019, mobile media time (29.6%) will surpass TV activity (30.4%). Contribute this growth to mobile apps as well, which takes up about 88% of India's cumulative mobile time. The interesting nuance to note here is that consumers spend more time on apps vs mobile web. Additionally, another recent report says that India is the fourth-largest consumer of mobile video ads, and despite accounting for only 3 percent global spends on mobile video ads, Indians watch more video ads on their mobile devices than most of the world.
Now that it has been established where consumers are, it poses a very strong business case to mine behavioural data and combine it with other secondary data sources to gain rich and unique insights about the complete consumer journeys. It is in this context that programmatic advertising becomes very crucial. When you break it down, the advantages of programmatic make it a clear choice for marketers and brands, alike. Firstly, it automates the decision-making process of media buying online and enables precise targeting of audiences. The method is backed by strong analytics to gain accurate insights from consumer data, hence eliminating the manual processes associated with traditional advertising. Importantly, it provides a significant cost advantage for brands and improved efficiency, making it a clear winner when compared with traditional advertising. Of course, there are different types of programmatic advertising and a competent marketer should be able to guide brands in the right direction.
The natural question that is bound to arise in this context is if programmatic will render human intervention futile. The answer is yes and no. While programmatic technology automates the redundant processes, human skills can be appropriately leveraged for the creative elements in the campaign. It makes for a classic case of upskilling talent and providing humans the opportunity to conduct higher value tasks. Programmatic can act as the automation arm and complement the overall campaign to bring about cost and time efficiency. As a consumer, when you search for flights to a particular destination and see relevant accommodation ads, in all probability it is programmatic technology in play to provide a customized experience for you.
It's no surprise that programmatic ad spends accounted for a whopping 90% of total spends by Fortune 500 brands worldwide in 2017 and has evidently taken center stage of the digital advertising industry today. The programmatic ecosystem is slowly but gradually growing in India and the time is ripe for brands to gain a first-mover advantage with this trend. Indian CMOs can take the leap to build mobile-first brand strategies which are creative and provide access to data infrastructure that would definitely catalyse marketing effectiveness and essentially future-proof understanding of the new age customer journeys.
With India emerging as the second-largest smartphone base globally and given the large headroom owing to the diverse demographic, the country will emerge as a bright spot in the adoption and growth of programmatic advertising. While the trend is still in its nascent stage with brands, it has been estimated that programmatic has the potential to enable advertisers in India to reach 85% of estimated 320 million active smartphone users. This easily makes this channel one of the most preferred one in the years to come. If you're a brand set to capture the attention of the new-age audience, mobile programmatic is must have in your marketing toolkit.