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5G is going to be a turning point for the advertising industry

With the 5G rollout in India, the advertising industry is going to see a significant change in terms of customer engagement. To understand it better, sat down with experts to understand how it will make an impact on advertisers

5G networks were officially launched earlier this month in India. According to a report released by Deloitte, India’s digital economy is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2025 as a result of growing smartphone usage, and fast and cheap internet. However, 5G is expected to be the primary force of this expansion.

Prasad Shajale

5G will be the expressway for digital marketing transformation as it will allow advertising agencies to unlock value for brands looking to talk to a billion Indians, as per Prasad Shajale, CEO, Founder of LS Digital, and Venugopal Ganganna, CEO of Langoor. 

Shajale added, “With better network strength, coverage and latency, augmented use cases like AR/VR content will become more mainstream. And it will help brands leverage this immersive medium for communicating more engagingly with over a billion Indians.”

Dhruv Shah

Dhruv Shah, VP, Web Strategy and Organic Search, Kinnect, shared that 5G will help brands build immersive experiences for their customers. “Immersive experiences will be interactive and collaborative which will increase the customer's loyalty towards the brand. These can be activities related to shopping, gaming, brand education and more.”

Like the 4G revolution, the 5G revolution will also bring a huge shift in the kind of content users consume and the way it is done. It will be device-agnostic and users can even be sitting on a beach and shop in a virtual store, said Shah.

Hardik Shah

5G is all about speed, low latency and network strength. It will enable anytime, anywhere connectivity and therefore will have a significant impact on internet usage and the overall digital/mobile experience, as per Hardik Shah, Vice-President - Digital, Puretech Digital. 

“Most marketing agencies are now slowly and steadily transforming into Mar-tech. More and more agencies are gearing up to enable AR/VR/XR/Voice experiences for the brands, and the ad agencies are deploying/partnering with CDP platforms which enable targeting to different personas across OTT and CTV,” said Shah of Puretech.

Ajit Narayan

Ajit Narayan, CMO of Socxo, highlighted, “When we went from 3G to 4G. What was the impact on advertising? The speeds went from 21 MB downloads and 5 MB/sec uploads to 1 GB downloads and 500 MB uploads. Now on paper, at that time, these were blazing fast. It empowered consumers with a way to watch video content on mobile, and other complex tasks such as banking, and e-com, became accessible on mobile because of the speed.”

According to Narayan, with 5G coming on, there are two angles to it. One is adoption because any service needs hardware to support it. The second is the use. He further said, “I see it as a long haul. That 1% which can afford to take the plunge right away will do that. (They were already buying 5G handsets last year despite no 5G network even.) So, to that market (read premium/luxury) there will be new stuff coming. But that is not the mass for which it will be business as usual.”

AR/VR hasn’t become mainstream yet in India and that is partly because of the speed challenges with the current generation of networks. 5G will enable high bandwidth and low latency networks and that will allow marketers to experiment with newer immersive tech, such as AR/VR/XR, say experts. 

As per Ganganna, personalised advertisements, mainstreaming of AR/VR content, the rise of vernacular video and content, gaming on the go, and content on the go will be some of the offerings in the ad market because of 5G. 

However, the brands should be prepared for the impact 5G will have on mobile marketing efforts. Especially with the ability to be able to deliver personalised and interactive content to people on the go. 5G will empower people to make decisions on the move as it will help brands monitor, track, and display content dynamically. It will also play a significant role in how OOH advertising is delivered.

5G will help in creating bigger experiences. AR and VR will make the showcasing of products a more immersive experience. For example, Liam Payne - a singer - did a show at the EE BAFTA Film Awards with an AR performance, pointed out Narayan. 

But according to Narayan, the next leap in speed will be the availability of low latency bandwidth and more bandwidth for broader consumption. This will impact the use of more network-powered devices, the market for which is yet to be discovered and tapped in.

The Internet of Things (IoT) could very well lead the next revolution. Right from devices to the data, it transmits in real time, Narayan added. 

The OTT Video ads will benefit the most from the 5G roll-out, as per experts. 

With the 5G roll out there will be a massive shift where brands will have the opportunity to shift many offline touchpoints to online. Brands will have the opportunity to build experiences that are VR, AR and Mixed experiences that will load instantly.

Ganganna said that though there will be a massive change, brands should be prepared for the impact 5G will have on mobile marketing efforts. Especially with the ability to be able to deliver personalised and interactive content to people on the go. 5G will empower people to make decisions on the move as it will help brands monitor, track and manage display content dynamically. And will play a significant role in how OOH advertising is delivered.

Advertisers and marketers should be mindful of this shift because this will herald the rise of vernacular video and content. With the demand for local language content steadily growing in India, there is a need for advertisers to consider creating regional advertising which goes beyond dubbed or translated ads. 

Moreover, CDP (consumer-data-platforms) along with Marketing Automation platforms will have a significant impact on how the communication is delivered, when and where, as per Shah of PureTech. He said this will eventually lead to better efficiency in terms of media delivery and overall digital experiences.

There will be much more to see when the 5G network will be rolled out in India as the speed of data in 5G is set to reach around 10 GBPS (gigabits per second). To leverage 5G, ad agencies are gearing up to bring a change in their media-mix strategies with more focus on digital space. The way we consume content will alter drastically thanks to 5G technology, as per Ganganna. 

He went on to explain that it will transform the content available to Indians and enable greater user experiences. This indicates that the growing democratisation of entertainment through gaming, OTT video, and short-form video formats will see a rapid surge and have the lion’s share of time spent on media by consumers across devices, especially mobile. 

Lastly, 5G will also boost the personalised targeting of the audience. 5G integrates digital and physical experiences, thereby making true omnichannel experiences possible — especially, for those on the go. This also allows brands to offer personalised customer service through AI-powered computer vision, on-demand virtual assistants, and on-demand gamification transforming one-way communication into two-way communication, said Ganganna.

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