80% buying will be 'digital' influenced this festive season: Report

MMA, GroupM & Amazon Advertising have launched an industry playbook on consumer behaviour.

Mumbai: Consumer sentiment ahead of the festive season remains positive with 50 per cent of consumers likely to increase their festive spends this year. Digital channels will continue to be crucial to the purchase decision with a whopping 80 per cent consumers’ journeys being ‘digital’ influenced, of which 77 per cent endemic journeys will involve, according to a festive season industry playbook released by MMA, GroupM and Amazon Advertising.

As per the handbook for marketers on expected consumer sentiment along with recommended strategies for Diwali this year, consumers are still not fully decided on their purchase, with 62 per cent of consumers currently undecided about the product/brand choice. The playbook titled 'Decoding Consumer Behaviour and Winning the 2021 Festive Season' further advises brands to leverage multiple touchpoints. Be visible across touchpoints leveraging connected TV, video, search advertising etc to drive active/passive discovery and leverage ‘efficiency’ related metrics to assess performance holistically, recommends the report.

The 2021 Diwali festive season will be an unprecedented test for marketers, as per the study. As consumption is on a natural upswing post-pandemic restrictions, brands are looking to stand out and capture the mindshare among the new-age ‘digital’ consumers.

Multiple brands have deferred their product launches and are counting on the festive season to drive incremental reach and sales, as per the report. As a result, shopping aisles will be choc-a-bloc with new launches supported by high-decibel marketing campaigns. At the same time, consumer journeys have become more complex and non-linear, and the role of digital has become more prominent across the journey. As a result, this festive season will require marketers to re-think their media strategies in order to be successful, says the study based on findings from consumer surveys, brand marketer surveys, and inputs from key opinion leaders.

MMA India country head Moneka Khurana commented, “76 per cent of marketers mentioned they will be allocating more spends for digital as compared to last year. Hence it’s key to understand omnichannel users better in the changing times as we continue to drive the narrative of shaping the future of marketing.”

GroupM South Asia president of growth and transformation Tushar Vyas stated, “Digital influence in consumer journeys has increased significantly while the e-commerce adoption has accelerated in the last 18 months. Hence, digital is no more a support media platform but is core to media plans.  E-commerce platforms offer brands the opportunity to hand-hold consumers across the purchase funnel by not only aiding in active/passive brand discovery but also in closing the loop by measuring performance objectively.”

Amazon Advertising India director of ad sales Vijay Iyer shared, “E-commerce portals act as gateways to this world that we are so quickly embracing and are playing a crucial role in brand and product discovery. For marketers, this presents an unprecedented opportunity – to be able to identify and leverage customer intent at an unprecedented scale. This playbook will help brands in not only sharpening their online strategy but will redefine how they measure and drive business outcomes.”

The playbook aims to help brands in making efficient decisions around their media strategy during the festive season. It captures insights around consumer sentiment and marketer expectations for the upcoming festive season, along with implications and recommendations for advertisers.

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