Facebook hits 50 million users in India but are marketing managers taking it seriously??

by · August 29, 2012

“A brand’s marketing mix should not be a function of WHO they are but more of WHERE there customers are.” Your classical adage on media planning.

Now lets look at which media Indians currently are on:
Print:
Dainik Jagran 16.4 million
Times of India 7.62 million
Economic Times 0.79 million

Television:
146 million television households in total with 600 million viewers split across various channels

Digital:
100 million + users with Facebook has 50+ million users

[Source]

Digital especially Facebook is no longer niche! It’s audience base is larger than any other print publication (5x to Times of India) & bigger than any TV channel across the country. By numbers alone it should be among the top 3 elements in your media mix but the reality is quite different. The typical mistakes or misconceptions & how we can change that.

  • Facebook is considered as part of a checklist “we should do this “ but not a brand driver for most brands: Isn’t it ironical that for one of the most important mediums they are hardly any strategic brand discussion but rather discussions on ‘likes’ & ‘people talking about us’ (which without the proper context are irrelevant). Integrated campaigns on Facebook are still mostly about a contest rather than exploring what can really be done when people & brands get together.(Globally skittles is a great example). More campaigns where this interactive medium drives the marketing are required.
  • Content is a lost brand opportunity: Imagine if someone asks you “tell us something about your brand” & you then start talking about films,movies,the latest news,ask them to participate in a random contest with a giveaway etc but don’t tell them anything about your brand (except your tagline & a promotion you are running). This may sound quite silly but that’s what exactly brands do on their Facebook pages. Consumers by ‘liking’ the page choose to listen to you & talk to you but brands miss a great opportunity by not sharing content related to the brand including the behavior traits which define the brand .Eg if your brand is about adventure or sports or humour or music your content should reflect that & as specifically as possible rather than be about everything popular.
  • Facebook has the right age group & also the other age groups: The 18-34 demographics the primary age group which most brands target make 76% of the Facebook audience in India .Even the 45+ age group is 5% ie 2.5 million,which is almost 33% of TOI total readership across the country & more than the top 2 business papers put together. Yet some brands think it’s niche & not for us? Strange, especially when you can target specific age groups,location or gender & psychographics!

country-in-age-ratio

  • Psychographics & not just demographics: Here is a medium which allows you to target people by interests, workplace, relationship status or who their friends are etc. However most agencies/brands hardly ever get into more specific targeting including detailed psychographic targeting since the cpc goes up & number of likes go down, which unfortunately is the focus. Good psychographic targeting gets relevant audiences which impact the business directly eg something we did recently http://bit.ly/LBFWwi
  • It can give you reach,yes it can! : One common misconception is that the medium can’t give you eyeballs just gives engagement. Though I agree with the fact that eyeballs or reach is not what the medium was meant for but if required with a careful mix of content & intelligent media planning it can give you both. We ourselves have seen this http://slidesha.re/I9z3xX & the budgets here were 6-8% of what you would typical spend on print media to get this reach.
  • Ask the question “why? & so what?” : The ROI problem can only be solved by focusing on the right goal, if we ask the wrong questions we will always get the wrong answers. ‘Likes’, ‘people talking about us’ etc should not be a the primary metric but relevant likes, relevant conversations , reach via relevant targeting ..everything that connects back directly to build the brand should be. Because brand building can be scaled but 1 million fans who are really not ‘fans of the brand’ cannot. So next time your agency tells you “we have reached 1 million fans, ask them “ So what ? What next? & What does it mean for us as a brand?”

Then you will have maximum ROI.

[ The article is contributed by Saurabh Parmar, CEO Brandlogist]

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