• Karan Veer Narang #UpwardsKV

Digital marketing in India and Dot-com bubble 2.0

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

The advent of digital marketing is not new, it has been in existence for quite a while. The term Digital Marketing was heard, rather read first in the 1990s. With the coming of the internet and the growth of the Web 1.0 platform, the digital era took off. Web 1.0 platform made it possible for users to find the information they needed, but it did not have a provision for them to share their information on the web. Up until then, the digital channel was still uncertain for advertisers worldwide. Since the internet had not seen widespread implementation yet they were not sure if their ideas would succeed.

In 1993, the first clickable banner went live. Yahoo was launched in 1994, 1996 saw the launch of Alexa & Google came into existence in 1998. With the dot-com bubble burst in 2001 & 02, many of the big players perished or were acquired. It happened because, with the internet, everyone was able to advertise to the audience (real people) which was not used to being flashed things in front of their eyes in their comfortable office chairs or study rooms, even on the couch. But with multiple brands flashing on the face, does one's "need" to buy arise too?

#UpwardsKV , Karan Veer Narang , Digital Marketing, Product Adoption curve
Product Adoption Curve

It became profitable for the early adopters but as the clutter started growing, a race of brands commenced with spending for ads on the internet while the actual sales did not match the equation. Those companies were tempted to display their offerings to more and more people overnight even if the audience was not in actual need.

If you see the ad for anything every day or for a week or in repetitive format for any number of days, will you purchase that very product/ service of that very brand?

A wise customer does not function as mentioned above. First, they feel the need for a commodity or service either through:

  • Internal needs (like buying a new toothpaste tube in B2C or a replacement of heavy machinery in B2B)

  • External influence (an upgraded phone model every two years in B2C and new upgraded AI-powered ERP in B2B).

The need then is researched upon, for the available options in the market. A common man always approaches for personal advice first rather than trusting ads before investing a single penny. It has been proven in our published research on a sample size of 1,000 people across India.

If you went on a holiday trip some time back, you would connect with this blog more as you might have researched for feedback about the hotels which you booked for the stay. You must have looked at the places to visit and chill at the destination and so on. Even while buying an electronic device such as a phone, an end consumer puts in time and energy to go through in-depth research at their personal best so that they don't repent their investment.

When you analyze this behavior of a human being (sociology), you would realize why the dotcom bubble burst happened. Everyone had massive expenditures in advertising but offering inferior quality products or services with no customer retention or feedback or actual use cases or success stories. Even people who needed the services went in for word of mouth. Through digital marketing, only the brand's recall was confirmed, the consistency of the delivery was not promised. The consumer has always been smart enough to know it and invest wisely.

Today in 2020, post-COVID19 era, when India is evolving digitally with the new digital implementations of the Govt. and coerced adoption rate under the pandemic, a similar kind of an internet bubble 2.0 is being built up in this separate and culturally diverse subcontinent which is now advancing into a new era. Many companies have built fortunes selling dreams to their clients of making them viral overnight through fancy communication. It can be possible if you have the right communications person behind you and a big budget to spare. But an ad firm's client retention can only come with consistent services and steady growth of the clients' firm.

Because you are not spending on ads to be hit overnight and fall tomorrow when the money is over as the brand of Dan Bilzerian the famous Instagrammer and gambler. You are spending to circulate your message of trust to work with the people who have a similar belief system and principles as yourself which is also a perk of entrepreneurship.

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