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Digital Marketing
10 min read

Post Independence: Digital Marketing in the new era for Indian economy growth

At the stroke of midnight, on August 15, 1947, India achieved freedom from over two centuries of colonial rule after a multi-faceted struggle for independence comprising both non-violent and violent means. Millions came together to fight for their country and rejoiced as the British Troops marched back home.

Today, it is impossible to bring together that kind of mass without leveraging the power of social media. The war against the British has to be appreciated.

As we celebrate our 73rd Independence Day, let’s examine how the digital revolution took place in India Since Independence.

Since Independence, we have definitely come a long way. Digital India is the talk of the COVID-19 era. We live in a technologically advanced world where there are tools and automation mechanisms for pretty much everything. But there was a time when we had barely scratched the surface. The first few years since we achieved independence were a struggle, of course. But since then, we have only progressed.

The world’s entry into Digital Marketing

Ancient Egypt is arguably the first country that used advertising as a tool. Steel carvings have been unearthed by scientists and have been assumed to be their very first advertising tool. Since then, man has continuously developed different ways to peddle products and services to a target audience who has been spoiled for various choices.

The printing press was introduced to the world by Johannes Gutenberg during the 1500s, and the world of advertising has been the same again. When television was invented, the whole digital marketing industry went through another transformation. Digital publications have pressurized the digital sector to adapt to keep up.

India’s journey in the field of digital marketing
When India got her Independence in 1947, the British were still the owners of most advertising agencies. During the transition period, most of the companies were either sold to us or shut down. With machinery such as the printing press manufactured abroad and import costs being high, we worked with our British counterparts. India was still trying to adjust to the changes on various levels. The first advertising agency in India was established by Mr.B.Dattaram in Mumbai. However, Mr.J Walter Thomas was credited for the same as we could not really compete with International Ad Agencies.

Radio was commercialized in 1967 and became a big hit. It had a higher reach, unlike the television, and everything was broadcast here. Amul Butter was one of the first and most popular campaigns. The campaigns were run on all possible platforms - TV, radio, newspaper announcements. The brand is still amongst the most popular and loved ones today.

All it takes is one brilliant move in the world of digital marketing, and the name could be etched forever in the minds of the audience.

The world of Television
The 1980s saw a massive sale of television. Earlier considered as a luxury commodity, the black and white television sets made their way into the houses of the middle-class. Advertising agencies were set up to promote various businesses. TV Advertising became the most popular way of promoting products and services. Visual creatives, engaging scripts, and attractive actors helped brands enter into the hearts of their audience in a big way.

Products were being marketed aggressively to the common man. This was the scene until 1990. And then Manmohan Singh opened up the Indian Economy in 1991.

Foreign companies realized what India was and what India could do. Foreign Direct Investment was the buzzword. The changes in consumer behaviour and the evolution of their needs and requirements pushed brands and advertising agencies to learn to be more sensitive. They had to adapt to the evolving demands of their target markets.

Post Liberalization
Post liberalization saw radio, television, and print media as the dominant platforms of advertising. Digital Marketing began in the 2000s. Internet penetration saw the presence of both brands and common man online. This only made the race more competitive.

The birth of the iPhone, along with increasing internet users, enabled customers to search for products and services online. The integration of technology with digital marketing strategies allows marketers to adapt to their target audience's preferences. Marketing automation was developed in 2007 in response to the ever-changing marketing climate. It helped create a buyer’s persona, launch marketing campaigns, and create content customized to the likes and behaviors of their prospective customers.

Leading 10 Indian Brands in 2020

Source: www.statista.com

Digital marketing became more sophisticated with the growth of the popularity of social media. Seamless user experience has been enhanced on different platforms to ensure a significant customer base and loyalty.

In the last few years alone we have seen a massive influx of foreign brands in India. With that, automatically, our local brands have stepped up with regards to their offerings and their communication. The next five years will only mean more and more players getting added to the game in every single industry. This will ultimately impact brand India and empower the consumer as all brands will have to tailor their communication to appeal to them.

Five defining moments in History that helped define Brand India

  • Asian Games held in New Delhi in 1982
  • When India won the cricket world cup in 1983
  • Modi-movement and Make-In-India concept
  • Presence of Indians in powerful positions globally

From being branded as a land of superstitions and snake-charmers, we have entered the global arena in a big way. There is a tangible sense of pride in Indian culture and identity today. There have been many milestones in India’s journey since independence that have played a key role in the making of Brand India. In the next five years, we can see more technologically driven campaigns that will leave a lasting impression on the consumers. ( Source: Internet)

The Indian advertising community has innovated, adapted, and excelled in every given situation. Now, with COVID-19 hitting us all hard, the road ahead has become quite rocky. But we have managed to survive and thrive, ensuring the rise of the economy along the way.