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The ability to attribute outcomes is what fuels further investment in digital channels: GroupM's Maps

According to Parthasarathy Mandayam (popularly known as Maps), Chief Strategy Officer, GroupM, South Asia, audio advertising is experiencing significant growth in India and he foresees this trend evolving in the coming years

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Sakshi Sharma
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The ability to attribute outcomes is what fuels further investment in digital channels: GroupM's Maps

Parthasarathy Mandayam

When considering digital advertising, marketers typically veer towards ads on YouTube videos, sponsored posts on social media or brand collaborations with influencers. However, a rising star in India's advertising scene is audio advertising.

According to Parthasarathy Mandayam, popularly known as ‘Maps’ - Chief Strategy Officer, GroupM, South Asia, audio advertising is experiencing significant growth in India and he foresees this trend evolving in the coming years.

Moreover, he explained that there are specific tailored messaging that are required for audio advertising which further gives a unique dimension which is unachievable in other formats.

Notably, in August last year, WPP and Spotify announced a global strategic partnership to enable WPP to offer its clients early access to Spotify’s ad products, first-party intelligence and creative ways to reach engaged audiences at scale.

As part of the partnership, Spotify has become the first digital audio platform to be integrated directly into WPP’s products and solutions.

During an interview conducted with BestMediaInfo on the sidelines of the This Year Next Year (TYNY) report launch event in Mumbai, Mandayam expressed that GroupM aims to concentrate on trends, which have also been highlighted in the TYNY report, that directly affect their daily work with clients.

Furthermore, Mandayam mentioned, “We try to steer clear of more macro global trends and go very sharply this year into trends that are impacting what we do every day.  If we step back, these trends primarily revolve around how marketers can better engage with consumers and guide them through the entire purchase journey, covering awareness, perception, trial and loyalty.”

“So, all these trends share a common theme. Whether it's about crafting experiences, commerce, the role of first-party and zero-party data, or the role of targeting micro-markets and going after micro-consumer niches, they all revolve around this theme. That's the underlying message here. We believe these trends are important for our clients,” he added.

While shedding light on the increasing popularity of audio advertising in India, Mandayam elaborated that audio advertising is experiencing significant growth in India and he foresees this trend continuing for two main reasons. Firstly, in an era where attention is fragmented, audio platforms offer a space where attention remains undivided. Unlike traditional forms, audio advertising is often consumed on-demand, enhancing its effectiveness.

Secondly, he highlighted that the nature of audio advertising allows for tailored messaging that aligns with the listener's emotional state and context. This level of customisation fosters engagement and even interactivity, facilitating a deeper understanding of consumer preferences.

“The symbiotic relationship between advertisers and consumers in this medium makes it a promising avenue for future growth, particularly as attention-based advertising gains traction,” Mandayam said.

Additionally, Mandayam underscored the evolving nature of this sector for the current year, highlighting that the evolution will focus on becoming more precise in targeting specific micro-segments and micro-moments.

“This evolution will occur alongside advancements in creative formats, such as podcasts becoming more advertising-friendly. However, the nature of advertisements will need to change to be more meaningful and value-based, ensuring that consumers derive value from them,” he added.

He believes that there is no major challenge associated with audio advertising as such. Rather, it's about how we leverage it effectively.

He emphasised, “There are specific types of messaging that are required for audio advertising. You can't just take your usual messages from other media and expect them to work on audio. The advertising needs to be tailor-made for the audio format. If people can manage to do that, I believe it will provide a unique dimension not achievable in other formats.”

During the conversation, Mandayam also highlighted the biggest growth driver of digital advertising and the reason behind it.

“In the realm of digital growth, the key lies in seamlessly integrating the full funnel journey and accurately determining the impact of each element of expenditure on specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Essentially, it's about understanding which aspect of my investments influences considerations, preferences, and trials. More importantly, it's crucial to identify the most affected KPI if a particular element is removed from the mix. This ability to attribute outcomes is what fuels further investment in digital channels, as other media forms lack the same level of detailed analysis.”

On being asked what are the most exciting areas in the media agencies’ business, Mandayam said, “One of the most thrilling aspects is the ability to customise tasks for different groups of consumers in various markets. This process, known as de-averaging, allows for precise personalisation. This, in my opinion, is the most exciting part.”

In conclusion, he said, “Our learnings are what actually made this report, reflecting our daily observations. Our interactions with clients have notably evolved. Nowadays, conversations commence at a more strategic level, transcending traditional campaign briefings and media planning.”

“Instead, they delve into precise problem definitions, addressing nuanced issues like brand and market segmentation. Clients now demand tailored solutions, recognising the diverse nature of their audiences across regions. They seek a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour, rejecting standardised approaches in favour of customised strategies,” he added.

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

Maps podcast Audio advertising GroupM TYNY brands advertisers media agencies digital advertising Parthasarathy Mandayam
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