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The East and North-East markets have a flourishing ecosystem of their own, which includes their unique lifestyles, culture, language, tradition, content consumption, buying behaviour, and consumer trends. The advertising industry in the East has gone through rapid evolution to embrace the heterogeneity of the region, devising a distinctly hyper-local and regional marketing strategy tailored to the cultural nuances of the region, given its linguistic diversity and cultural heritage. Brands are leveraging regional marketing strategies to reach out and connect more with their regional consumers, by communicating localized messaging that helps to build credibility for them.

In the last few decades, digital advertising spending has grown to a considerable extent and now is aligning with the conventional media in the East. There is an increase in more personalized, targeted mobile-first advertising due to a rising mobile-first consumer base. All over India, direct-to-consumer product ads have recorded an 11% rise in sales, with consumers spending half of their time in front of the screens during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

Adgully spoke to a cross-section of industry experts to explore the digital advertising trends in the East and North-East markets, the evolution of digital advertising in these markets, and the core trends that dominate these markets, the way brands are reaching out to their target audiences, and engaging with them through digital advertising, and much more.

Evolution and the current state of digital advertising in the East

Samrat Mukherjee, Vice-President, Madison Loop, noted that the digital advertising and marketing landscape in Eastern India is brimming with potential, mirroring the national trend. The market has witnessed a surge in mobile internet users, active on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and other regional language social media apps.

Swati Nathani, Co-Founder and CBO, Team Pumpkin, too, remarked that the digital advertising and marketing scene in the East is like a bustling market that is fast-paced and fiercely competitive. “Forget generic campaigns, the key is understanding their micro-preferences. Bengali millennials in Kolkata crave different content than Odia in Bhubaneswar. East markets’ digital game is mostly about micro-targeting, creating cultural nuances, staying ahead of trends, and data-driven agility and that’s what makes it so thrilling,” she noted.

In a similar vein, Saurav Agarwal, Founder & CEO, PromotEdge, said that digital advertising is experiencing rapid growth in the East market, driven by increasing internet penetration and smartphone usage. This surge has led to multifaceted growth, particularly in mobile-first strategies like in-app targeting and app advertising. Moreover, digital advertising has evolved significantly from basic banner ads to sophisticated, data-driven approaches such as programmatic buying and creative formats like video and interactive ads.

“East has not always been an easy go-to-market, with the number of regions, all with their varied regional nuances,” noted Rajni Daswani, Director – Digital Marketing, SoCheers, adding, “If you are not equipped with the right market research and analysis, it could be a market that becomes very difficult to manage. Regional brands with a deeper understanding of these nuances have captured a higher market share. However, digitization has enabled players to enter the market strongly through hyper-local targeting based on demographics, interests, and location.

With deeper insights available through digital, choice preferences, interest understanding, and regional insights that help understand their choices – advertising in the east markets has become easily achievable through digital. Technology has also played a crucial role in facilitating brands to craft key messaging, widen their reach, and resonate with specific communities.

The parallel run of digital and traditional marketing strategies

Reflecting on how brands are leveraging digital marketing channels while keeping their traditional marketing strategies alive in the East market, Samrat Mukherjee discussed how very few businesses in the East market are consistent with their media efforts, and it reflects similarly in their digital strategies. However, a lot of small businesses are actively doing performance campaigns targeting the lower funnel and missing out on the opportunities to create awareness and build preference for a large digital population available in this market.

Swati Nathani noted how established businesses are striking the delicate balance between tradition and innovation in the East markets through navigating the phygital world. They are using social media and influencer partnerships to connect with younger demographics. However, they have not forgotten the value of tradition. By maintaining a strong presence in regional media and actively participating in community events, they are fostering that crucial element of local trust.

Saurav Agarwal pointed out that established businesses in the East markets have been successfully balancing their digital and traditional marketing strategies through omnichannel marketing, integrating digital channels like social media and search engine marketing with traditional media such as TV and print to create a seamless brand experience. Additionally, they utilize data-driven personalization to tailor traditional marketing efforts, like targeted mailers, to complement their digital campaigns. Effective measurement of both digital and traditional channels allows them to allocate resources efficiently.

“Established businesses are utilizing an integrated approach to target audiences in the East market. They leverage a combination of both traditional and digital channels to garner reach and engagement and eventually sales penetration. Integration of regional language content is a game-changer, improving reach by overcoming language barriers. Hyper-local targeting is another key strategy. Traditional approaches like print ads and on-ground activations are still being employed, since they work well in those markets, especially in festive seasons like Pujo,” remarked Rajni Daswani.

Influencer marketing strategies

With the social media boom in this market and the rise of regional language content creators, the opportunity to leverage influencers is huge. Some brands in Eastern India are using influencers to distribute their own TVC/ branded content to amplify on social channels. They are also using creators to create content in their style helping to build traction towards brands/products and create deeper engagement, said Samrat Mukherjee.

Swati Nathani shared how Team Pumpkin believes that rather than reach, influencer marketing is more about resonance. She said, “We prioritize authenticity above all else, forging long-term partnerships with influencers who align with the brand’s vision. Furthermore, we recognize the importance of diversity in influencer partnerships. Through working with influencers across various niches, demographics, and platforms we ensure to reach a diverse audience and maximize the impact.”

By partnering with relevant influencers, brands can tap into established trust and connect with audiences on a personal level, building credibility. Influencers also enable brands to reach niche markets that may be challenging to target through traditional advertising methods. Furthermore, influencers are adept at creating engaging content that resonates with their audience, facilitating authentic storytelling and brand promotion, elaborated Saurav Agarwal.

He further said, “At PromotEdge, we specialize in developing data-driven content strategies that leverage both traditional and digital channels. Our approach allows businesses to navigate the evolving digital landscape effectively. We are excited and happy to continue contributing to the growth of the East market.”

While speaking on how brands are incorporating regional celebrities and influencers into their marketing strategies to achieve greater reach and engagement, Rajni Daswani said, “These influencers have a stronger understanding of regional nuances and cultural preferences, which allows them to connect with audiences on a deeper level. This approach also encourages the creation of user-generated content, which feels more relatable and authentic to the audience compared to traditional advertising. Regional content creation is a powerful tool for localizing messaging and building brand credibility.”

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شركة النمر هي شركة متخصصة في تصميم وادارة المواقع الالكترونية والارشفة وكتابة المحتوى والتسويق الالكتروني وتقدم العديد من خدمات حلول المواقع الالكترونية والتطبيقات وهي شركة رسمية ومسجلة منذ عام 2015.

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