“Mobile will become a powerful tool for commerce,” says Vikramaditya Sharma of Nielsen

4th Dec 2012
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Vikramaditya Sharma, director and head of Nielsen Online and NM Incite — a joint-venture between Neilsen and McKinsey & Company was part of the ISB Digital Summit at Hyderabad. Sharma, spoke exclusively to YourStory.in about top priorities at Nielsen India and his reading of the digital trends in India. Excerpts.

On the evolution of digital marketing in India

Discussing the prominence of digital media over other domains, Sharma accentuated the need of effective digital marketing strategies. He said, "In the last one year what we have come across very strongly is the awareness that brands can't do away with digital; the digital spends are constantly increasing. Also

, the ability to measure effectiveness, in terms of who saw the ad is necessary.” He says tools and services like Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) in the US will bring that commonality across platforms. Cross platform integration in ways of measuring spends will become increasingly important in digital in India.While glitch-free cross platform integration is necessary, mobile has emerged as an underdog in this sector. Mobile is slowly gaining traction and is set to become a large space for advertisers. Mobile today has achieved great levels of penetration not just in metro cities, but even in the tier 1&2 cities. Sharma adds, "I think the biggest trend is the massive growth in mobile surfing times across metro, tier 2 and tier 3 towns. We are also seeing a big trend in purchase-decision making — people are actively searching for stuff on mobile, looking for best price and deals.”

According to Sharma, the urban audience has been spoilt in terms of the choice that they have. “Advertising all around them helps make purchase

decisions, but take that to a Tier 2 city where retail is still not as evolved or choices are limited — the consumer now has the power to know what is right for her,” explains Sharma. Enthused by the influence of mobile in purchases being made and Sharma predicts a surge in m-commerce.Sharma also points out about the changing behaviour in the digital space from SMBs in India. "When I was at Yahoo! five years back, I thought SMBs relied on an expert. That they would give the expert a task, and expect to get it done, but they had no idea what to expect from digital as a medium. But now the awareness and ability to go digital is only increasing in the SMB sector."

On areas of opportunity

Sharma is very bullish about the impact of digital to drive growth prospects in the healthcare and education sectors. He sees an immediate impact as: “they are hygiene services and the ecosystem is currently fighting for true democratization of services,” he says. These two sectors also have scope for massive innovation and there is a lot of work happening here in terms of partnering with bigger companies to enable areas such as m-commerce, adds Sharma.

On digital trends

Sharma points to the fact that there are "many Indias within India". He is a bit fazed about the bias that smart phones are considered to an urban phenomenon, which he insists is changing. Engagement levels that youth have with their smart devices today has gone up — around 14% of their daily time is being spent on their phone. Bulks of these young users are completely dependant on their phones as they get through the day. “These two I believe are the biggest trends in India today. If you draw venn diagrams in your head, the overlap between youth smart device users and tier 2 and 3 cities, the overlap is what is driving the growth,” says Sharma.

Nielsen is a global leader in information and measurement and is synonymous with reports, surveys and a world of insights. NM Incite — a Nielsen & McKinsey joint venture focuses on delivering high end social media intelligence which helps marketers decipher consumer behaviour on the social side. understand what the consumers want. Nielsen is present in over 100 countries with more than 34,000 people working for it and rakes in more than $5.5 billion in revenues.

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