Covid-19 Accelerated Digital Marketing Spend for 8 out of 10 Indian Marketers

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New Delhi: Criteo (NASDAQ: CRTO), the global technology company powering the world’s marketers with trusted and impactful advertising, today released its ‘COVID-19 Impact on Marketing’ report which surveyed senior marketers in India including CMOs and Heads of Digital Marketing. The report highlights the impact of COVID-19 on consumer buying behaviour and that it has led to more online sales and rapid digital transformation. The survey findings reveal the implications of Covid-19 for businesses, their priorities, challenges and digital marketing spend.

Criteo research found over half of the marketers saying that their digital marketing campaigns are going ahead as planned. Criteo surveyed 1,000 senior marketing executives globally, including 105 in India, to learn more about their plans for 2021.

According to the report, 43% of the marketers surveyed in India said that due to Covid-19 their business had seen a drop in revenue in 2020. However, 54% of marketers said
that Covid-19 has led to more website sales/bookings, indicating that driving online sales and visits will be a big emphasis for businesses moving forward. Budget for social, content marketing, paid video and advertising on retail websites and apps is also likely to increase in 2021. 4 out of 10 marketers say Covid-19 has resulted in rapid digital transformation of business processes. Further 46% claimed they had seen increased efficiency and 45% confirmed increased customer loyalty.

Have there been any positive outcomes for your business during COVID-19?

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Source: Criteo COVID-19 Impact on Marketing Survey, India, October 2020, n=101.

Covid-19 has forced significant changes to sales, marketing, and operations. 8 out of 10 marketers in India say that the share of digital marketing spend at their company has increased due to Covid-19. In today’s environment, 65% of marketers believe that marketing function in companies has become more important due to increased digital marketing activities. Additionally, 69% believe marketing has become important to acquire new customers and 58% said to build and reinforce their brand values.

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Speaking on the survey, Taranjeet Singh, Managing Director of South East Asia and India, Criteo, said, “Our Survey focuses on marketing as the remote control to the success ladder for any business, especially during Covid-19. Digital transformation will continue to be a focus in 2021, as companies realise that we may never go back to ‘business as normal.’ By staying on the top of new trends, analysing the market insights, and understanding the growing customer demands and changes in behaviour, marketers can develop a successful marketing campaign for moving ahead in the future. Agility in all facets of business, especially marketing, will be a key to success.”

 He further added, “At this tipping point of transformation, we are committed to turning the company’s assets into the world’s leading Commerce Media Platform, for brands, agencies and retailers to optimize their sales and digital advertising returns.”

 In terms of digital marketing spend and re-allocation budgets, nearly all marketers in India have made changes to their strategy due to the pandemic. According to the survey it can be observed that Covid-19 resulted in more marketing spend across digital channels which will continue in the years ahead. 58% of marketers in India say their digital campaigns are too dependent on walled gardens. Digital marketing budgets have increased, but brand safety, and high dependency on Facebook, Google, and Amazon are big concerns (50%). Nearly half of the marketers in India say that their marketing budget commitments and new product/service launches are going ahead as planned. Events and outdoor marketing campaigns have been more negatively impacted.

As a way forward, the survey highlights 51% of marketers say their budget for advertising on publisher websites and apps is likely to increase in 2021. Here, customer retention and expanding into new offerings are top objectives moving forward. Marketers in India confirm that digitalisation of business operations is their top priority (70%).

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Neel Achary is the editor of Business News This Week. He has been covering all the business stories, economy, and corporate stories.