Business Other News 25 Jul 2016 Digital, traditional ...

Digital, traditional media compete to win media of choice title by brands

Published Jul 25, 2016, 1:56 pm IST
Updated Jul 25, 2016, 2:01 pm IST
The truth is that this so called “versus” is nothing but a navel gazing exercise that the advertising industry indulges in.
Traditional media is slowly becoming dependent on Digital (new) media. (Representational image)
 Traditional media is slowly becoming dependent on Digital (new) media. (Representational image)

The growing power of digital media versus the staying strength of traditional media has been an ongoing debate in advertising industry ever since digital media gained strong foot hold in the battle field. Competitive imbalance is getting stronger year by year. The digital media advertising which has grown by 44.5 per cent in 2014 over the year-ago has been taken aback by the growing television ad spending which marked a growth of 10 per cent last year. According to a joint report published by industry lobby Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and consultancy firm KPMG India, digital advertising spends accounted for 10.5 per cent of the total advertising spends in India in 2014.

What is more important is to understand which media can drive potential consumers along the customer journey of your brand.  The believers in digital use the rapid growth of devices, clicks, likes and impressions as evidence while the skeptics use the low marketing spends on digital as a means of de-bunking the theory. India with more than 300 million people internet users, rising penetration of smartphones and improving bandwidth will grow to become the most preferred fertile ground for marketers and advertisers in digital platform.


The truth is that this so called “versus” is nothing but a navel gazing exercise that the advertising industry indulges in. Now, more than ever, there is no “versus”.

We do not consume a digital medium; we live in a digital world.  A few trends that would be seen in 2016 are shared below.

  1. Social to stay sociable - We use FB & other social sites to seek and give attention; Whatsapp, Line, SMS to stay in constant touch.
  2. Mobiles for mobility – to check train & flight timings, order ourselves an Ola, Uber and Google Maps to navigate when our driver loses his way.
  3. Screens for screening – Mobile and iPad screens keep getting bigger and rivalling the resolution sizes of high-end televisions because we watch more content on these than on regular TV screen.
  4. Digital ecosystems for entertainment - Our content streams to our screens through fibre networks that also deliver high-speed connectivity right into our homes. For evidence, look at Reliance Jio.
  5. Remote access for roaming – Remote monitoring of homes, cars and even your child from the next room, enabled by digital security systems and devices.
  6. Wearables to wear health – We wear wearables to keep an eye on our health stats. It’s made the bastion of a health specialist a part of mainstream conversation– monitoring blood pressure, heart rate, sleep cycles. Moreover, it is a physical badge of a person’s healthy ways.

Hence proven - Digital is not a medium; it is the pre-dominant way of life for the people we serve. Their behavior is driven by the digitized world we live in.


Hence, the idea of whether digital media is growing vs traditional isn’t even a question to begin with. The truth is traditional media growth is already dependent on what we called erstwhile digital.

The challenge for traditional media to blend into this digital driven world is “interruption avoidance”.

Unlike the earlier era where advertising found its niche between content, today it needs to find its relevance between conversations, searches, health monitoring and private content consumption; or has to become the content itself.


To be able to find a place for an entertaining marketing message in the midst of this “digitally enabled” life will decide the shape traditional media will take. It is time for traditional to stop being; well, traditional!

This article has been authored by Preethi Sanjeevi, Chief Marketing Officer, VML.