Advertisers are harsh when it comes to the internet.

While this may lead to a flood of comments picking at everything i have written , I am still going to pen the following thoughts down.

I believe that advertisers on the Internet are, comparatively,too harsh on the Internet and the online medium. Their expectations are often unfair and with respect to the larger picture, despite having proved it self as a strong , accountable , economic medium the net needs to prove it self over and over , every campaign , everytime. Why ?

The problem lies in the medium itself. One of its biggest advantage is its weakness as well. The internet offers accountability and tracking which before it , was quite frankly, a dream…. and advertisers have literally gone overboard with it.

Just to take an example lets consider a recent campaign..Maruti Swift ,lots of fanfare everywhere… lots of TVC’s , lots of half page spreads in the national dailies. Cars got sold , car sales saw a rise, people got to know about the product. Lots of articles , Autocar feature planning was done well blah blah. The marketing department at Maruti is still patting itself on the back , and the agency thrilled with the invoicing. Everyone’s happy……

….but i have a question.. i want to know which TVC , in which language, at which time spot on which channel on which day , targeting which demographics in which region , which city, did the best……. and the same for the print ads..and the same for the articles. How many cars got sold basis the review on Autocar….. yes… anyone?….. no one? cmon….!!… so many crores at not one detailed stat for me???

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WPP Buys Quasar Media

All the speculation which has been in the market over the last few days has finally be put to rest. Contentsutra has confirmed the buy in its article quoting WPP CEO Martin Sorrell , who announced it on Friday at the Morgan Stanley technology , media and telecoms conference.

How this rolls over the next few weeks remains to be seen but its definitely a move which will send ripples across the industry. Quasar Media’s debatable market leadership is sure to receive a tremendous boost from this move.

The acquisition is stated to be at 75% but the exact worth was not disclosed. What was mentioned was that there is not going to be any kind of a backfire with the deal with respect to management and employees and will still be managed by its founding team.

Mark Read , CEO WPP , credits the move as a step towards having a strong reach in the Indian digital space, which according to him will touch 560 Million $ i.e 7% of the toatal spending by the year 2009.

Cell Number Migration Now Possible..

This much awaited change in the industry is finally here. The headlines in Times of Read read that the ministry has given clearance to this proposal after sitting on it for about 2 years and it will be available to consumers shortly.

While this spells a lot of flexibility and freedom for mobile consumers in India , the GSM operators themselves are not too happy. One obvious impact is the fact that they would need to become more “Customer friendly” and offer even more value adds to ensure the subscriber base does not dwindle.

The other reason , it would appear, for their frowns , is this move is being seen as something which has been initiated now to help Reliance out and offer them an easier path with respect to acquiring subscribers and their overall entry into the GSM segment. The service will initially roll out in Delhi , Mumbai , Chennai and Kolkata.

Whether that be true or not, i really dont care, this was a much awaited development which is going to benefit consumers in the long run and offer the freedom of migration which otherwise , or the lack of it, has been one of the primary reasons to not switch operators in the past. What i am apprehensive about is how “easy” in real terms will operators allow subscribers to leave…. would they for example become more stubborn in releasing security deposits, will i need to be wary of the fine print which might , now, include clauses which attempt to hinder this…?

Online Spends – Where are people spending money?

Despite a lot of raised eyebrows from friends and industry contacts over the last few months i was delighted to note that i was bang on with respect to what i considered the major areas where money is being spent online.

As per the IAMAI report , the total quantum of online spends stood at approx 7000 crores out of which the maximum share was for Travel , followed by Retail. The difference between these position however is huge. Here’s the approx values for each :-

1. Travel : 76%

2. Retails (E tailing) : 12 %

3. Online Classifieds : 9%

4. Paid downloads : 3 %

The spend for 2007- 2008 is expected to touch 9000 crores, considering the percentages above it translates into a cool 6800 crores on travel. I am personally disappointed with the figures for E- Tailing but all they tend to substantiate reports indicating that many auction driven sites such as Ebay are struggling.

While i figure Travel will remain on the top , or atleast the top 1-3 , the sectors which should pick up are E-tailing. With the arrival of more innovative products such as Online Grocery shopping for example, the horizontal growth is substantial and i hope to see healthier figures here.