2014 Lok Sabha Elections To Boost Digital and Social Ad Revenues

With the digital and social media forming a big marketing mix for political parties, this elections will help Facebook, Google to boost revenues from India.



GroupM, the country’s largest media agency recent annual estimated advertising expenditure report – ‘This Year, Next Year’ (TYNY) 2014 stated that overall advertising growth will stand at 11.6 percent this year, against 10 percent last year. The growth in ad spends this year has been attributed to the forthcoming 16th Lok Sabha elections in the country.

With digital and social media forming a visible part in the marketing strategies of political parties, digital ad spends is definitely going to add up to the revenues of Facebook, Google and Twitter.  With the country all set to witness the most expensive elections ever with a budget of Rs. 30,000 crore, Livemint has reported that social networking giants are expecting a boost in their revenues from India.

The search giant Google has said that this year it is seeing “probably 10X, 20X” more digital spends than in the past elections, not just from big parties but a lot of small and regional parties too. Google India’s Industry head Gaurav Kapoor states, “Google’s advertising revenues from its government vertical is expected to rise 250-300% this year, as opposed to around 200% last year.”

Spends on digital and social have increased since one of the primary reasons is that the youth is spending more time online. Even though 13% of population is accessing the internet i.e. more than 238 million, smartphone penetration has spiked in the country. In Q4 2013, India was the world’s fastest smartphone growing country according to Gartner. With that the smartphone activity has increased too with 2.5 hours of daily usage in 2013 stated Nielsen Mobile Insights.

InMobi, the Indian mobile advertising platform, is also expecting its digital revenues from India to rise by at least 30-40% this year, as opposed to about 15-20% during a normal year, stated Naveen Tewari, Founder and CEO at InMobi.

Tewari also adds that he is impressed by the way parties are using mobile in a different way to reach over a 100 million people in the country—they’re using specific messages instead of generic messages”.

Messaging apps like WhatsApp have also been an effective tool for local candidates to connect to the voters of their ward along with the use of Big Data. Though the use of Big Data has been limited to open source tools.

With individual marketing budgets of major political parties exceeding to more than Rs. 500 crore this year, the digital advertising and social media companies are the clear winners even before the elections.

In fact the latest FICCI-KPMG report states that ad spend in digital media is all set to grow at 37 percent to reach Rs. 41.2 billion in 2014. These are good times for the digital and social media companies in the country.

Image credit: Mashable