Sandeep Ranade Executive Director, Co-lead Quantitative - West, Insights Kantar

Sandeep Ranade, Executive Director, Co-lead Quantitative – West, Insights, Kantar


The discussion in the fifth session of this year’s RJIF centred round how to win consumers in the smartphone age. The session was addressed by Sandeep Ranade, Executive Director, Co-lead Quantitative-West, Insights Kantar, who started by pointing out that today, content is being accessed on several platforms.

In India, the smartphone is leading the digital revolution. There are about 500 million active internet users in the country, and almost all of them access it on their mobile. On average, consumers spend six hours daily on the mobile. By the end of 2019, there were more than 30 OTT platforms and web streaming apps. Seizing this opportunity, companies are using these platforms to place their ads so as to reach out to people, but the big question that faces them is whether they are getting their money’s worth. Are their sales going up?

To figure this out, said Ranade, they checked out more than 70 campaigns. The findings indicated that spending on multimedia campaigns is going up. Between 2012 and 2016, campaigns that increase brand awareness increasingly opted for digital media platforms to send their message to consumers.

Ranade reiterated that consumers spend as many as four to six hours on their mobile. Many of them would be potential jewellery buyers, who would be starting their purchase journey by looking up the products they desire online. Companies have to figure out how they can step into the customers’ journey and connect with them in a meaningful, informative and memorable way so that they purchase the brand.

Ranade then listed the learning that sellers can deploy to make an impact while sending their message via digital platforms. The first is context. It is the environment where the ad or creative is being consumed, and also what is around it. The mood and mindset of consumers when they are using a particular app also form part of the context.

The placement of the ad is also very crucial. Should the ad be placed on a jewellery website, or on some other website? If the objective is to create awareness, then it does not make any difference where the ad is placed, but if the intent is to get the consumers to buy and reach a relevant audience, then better results can be obtained by placing the ad on relevant and jewellery specific sites.

Ranade underlined an important message — brands need to understand the behaviour of consumers towards video content. He told the gathering that regardless of whether advertisers are running a 6-seconder, a 15-seconder, or a 30-seconder, it has been found that on an average, consumers skip a video after seven to eight seconds. But when people are consuming a video, and the audio is on, the completion rate is around 40%. However, most people watch these ads on social media, where the sound would be off. In such cases, the completion rate is lower. So, the video has to be so strong that the message can be conveyed even without the audio.

The next thing to remember is synergy and customization. Ranade pointed out that in all the campaigns his company checked out, it was found that the maximum impact came from synergy. So, it is necessary to give each media its importance, rather than hinge on any one media, he told the audience.

The next factor is the creative itself. Firstly, the campaigns across all media at any point have to be the same. Different campaigns across different platforms give weak results.  Secondly, companies need to make sure that integrated campaigns are customized for each platform. This one factor alone leads to a 57% higher return. Creatives that are multi-media integrated and also customized to the media are far more useful and give higher benefits.
Ranade next touched upon experience and engagement. He advised the gathering to utilize the features of a mobile, be it an audio, or the scan facility, or any other feature, to ensure better engagement with consumers.

Lastly, he spoke about creating a balance. He said that advertisers often worry about whether they have received enough number of clicks after having spent a certain amount of money on the ad. He made it clear that there is no correlation between the number of clicks and brand impact. He rounded off by telling advertisers not to look for just short-term returns in terms of clicks or sales, but to remain focused on long-term gains in terms of building brand awareness, gaining their share of voice in the online space and consumer mind share when it comes to digital branding.