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The media strategies which will set the course for 2022 spoke to experts to find out what is changing for the media buying and planning industry in the new year as more and more brands focus on digital transformation

The past two years have changed the entire advertising and marketing ecosystem. Earlier brands were still investing most of their ad spends towards mainstream media like TV and print, but today most brands are investing at least 60% of their spends towards digital as more and more of them are focusing on a digital transformation. spoke to experts to understand what media strategies we will get to see in 2022. 

Experts stated that brands are increasingly focusing on measuring consumers not only through reach but also through their personalities. Even though giants like Google and Facebook will dominate the ad spends, it is the opportunities that brands provide to consumers that matters the most. 

Premjeet Sodhi

According to Premjeet Sodhi, Chief Strategy Officer, Wavemaker India, brands are still in the re-evaluation mode and the focus has been on managing the more dominant P’s (price, product, promotion, and place) of marketing and media. He said brands are establishing new KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for media agencies to clearly outline their strategic expectations. 

He added that brands are now focusing on platform expertise. “The rules of engagement for advertising for every media and platform are evolving and how these platforms work together across the funnel - are all being written afresh. Strategic questions such as what platforms to use, what should be the optimised media-mix; what KPIs should be evaluated for each platform? This is an immediate, critical, and most common ask across clients.” 

He also said that the role of content (not only visual entertainment content) in the digitalised world is intrinsic to the growth of brands and defining the strategic role and structure of managing the whole consumer journey has a huge focus for 2022. 

Brands are now much more focused on defining and measuring the audience. “The focus is back on Consumer Personas and these personas are far more in-depth and deterministic due to the footprints that consumers leave across their consumer journey in the digital interactions,” Sodhi added. 

Speaking about her expectations, a top media strategist stated there was a co-existence of traditional and new-age media in the past year and this is something that will consolidate further in 2022. “It will be TV and digital and it will take a few more years for it to reach the ‘or’ stage. Micro-localised media strategies are another trend that got accentuated in 2021 and is likely to flow into 2022 as well, especially as the pandemic is far from over and brands seek higher and immediate ROI from media investments.” 

They added, “2022 is about social and e-commerce interplay. I see a growth of both existing platforms who have become mainstays of plans, as well as new experimental platforms growing in social commerce and quick commerce spaces. We are also going to see brands develop their own ecosystems. OTT is likely to see consolidation and growth is likely to come from regional markets.”  

Sanchita Roy

Meanwhile, Sanchita Roy, Head – Strategy, Havas Media Group India, said that with the growing focus on e-commerce led campaigns and brands shifting focus to D2C – we will see social (media) at the forefront of this growth, as this is where consumers are making purchase decisions. 

“With the end of third-party cookies, brands will gear up to work on their tech stack better. The emphasis on innovation and identity resolution on brands’ first-party data will be important.

Metaverse might take a decade or so to gain critical mass but will open up a world of possibilities – a virtual world where people can socialise, only means that there will be newer branding opportunities based on how interactive the experience gets. Google, Meta, Amazon and Apple will be the platforms of choice for advertisers,” Roy said.

Despite being a volatile year, 2021 has been much better for the print and television industry than its previous year. Genres like news and sports will continue to attract traction from advertisers in 2022, as per experts. However, movie channels will continue to see a dip due to a lack of fresh content. 

Gautam Surath

According to Gautam Surath, Managing Partner, Performics, digital adoption is already high but if things get normal by February, we might see some reversal in the time spent on digital. “IPL is going to play a big role and if it is played in India, and people are allowed to go out that will have a major impact.” 

“TV and digital will be the number one choice and will continue to draw media spending, followed by print,” he added. 

“Sports is one genre that will continue to command a significant share of spending. Interest in the news is at an all-time high, and this is despite no ratings. News as a genre saw a lot of traction last year,” Roy said. 

Surath explained that OOH and radio are suffering the same fate, as both are targeted towards office goers. Until everyone doesn’t return to their office, there won’t be much uptake for these two mediums. 

“Of course, they will bounce back but they will not fully recover and will have to settle for lower levels than the pre-Covid era. In the short-term, people will continue to invest in digital and TV, and once things settle-in it is print which will recover the fastest,” he stated. 

Roy added that we will continue to see inconsistent spending across OOH, Radio, and Cinema in-line with the prevailing conditions.

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