Digital media is the top preferred: Indian SMEs Advertising Survey 2021

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Media Ant’s Indian SME Advertising Survey 2021 focuses on advertising preferences and challenges for Indian SMEs who are often constrained by budgets and resources. Media SMEs want to advertise in 2021 about what purpose the advertising materials serve them, and the challenges that SMEs face when advertising in these media was being considered.


Television and outdoor advertising are the preferred media for branding, whereas digital advertising is the preferred environment for performance. For newspapers and outside advertisers, measuring campaign performance is the biggest challenge, and 42% of digital advertisers find media planning extremely difficult.


Regarding TV advertising, 76% of respondents said their preferred goal was branding and 24% said it was effective. For digital, 62 percent refers to performance and 38 percent for brands, 64 percent for brands and 36 percent for productivity, and radio 62 percent for brands and 38 percent for productivity.

The results show that the digital medium is the most preferred advertising medium in all business categories. Challenges for SMEs in television and radio advertising are tariff discovery, OOH pressure and measurement, and digital planning. B2C and product brands prefer promotional materials over B2B and service brands that focus on fewer media.

79 percent of respondents in various categories plan to advertise on digital platforms by 2021, and 60 percent of respondents in various categories want to advertise on more than one media. About 7% of those surveyed want to advertise on all five platforms – television, digital, print, radio, and outdoor. Digital + TV and Digital + Outdoor have proven to be two of the best advertising media combinations.


While B2C and B2B brands have the greatest preference for digital media, B2C brands want to include more offline media than B2B. There is no significant difference in purpose between B2C and B2B brands. Pricing is the biggest challenge for B2C brands compared to B2B brands where measurement is a major concern. Offline brands are more likely to include offline media in their schedule than online brands. Online brands have difficulty advertising OOH, while offline brands cannot do digital planning.

While service and product brands prefer digital advertising, product brands tend to prefer offline media. Advertising a product to be a brand is more than just a service mark. For service brands, finding radio distribution was challenging, while for product brands, finding television rates was a challenge.

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