Thursday, August 03, 2017

Future of Online Advertising - Google & Facebook Platform Dominance

Not everything is rosy in the world of digital advertising. P&G announced last week it has cut more than 100$ Million (equivalent to INR 635 crores). It cited 3 primary reasons for this
·         Ads were simply ineffective
·         Ads were being served to bots
·         Placement of the advertisements
My uninformed guess would be that the primary advertisement cuts would have happened in
  • ·         Branding campaigns that focused on reach as the primary performance metric
  • ·         Non-Google & Non-Facebook advertisements
This broad trend of advertising shifting to Google & Facebook was reflected in Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends – where she clearly illustrated that growth in online advertising in US is largely being driven by Google & Facebook.
And multiple machine learning algorithms that is optimizing the campaigns in Google & Facebook networks serves as a very effective moat against any new player entering the space. And Google & Facebook are expected to further deepen their moat – by artificial intelligence and machine learning.  My bet is that in a 3-4 year time frame, >80% of the online advertising spends would be done through Google & Facebook platforms only.
But as marketers, should we be worried about Google & Facebook Advertising Dominance? We all remember how Facebook killed the organic traffic for brands inside its closed network. The day Google also faces similar challenges with revenue creation – we can expect it to do the same. If the history shares any trends, a category that was dominated by one or two players – will result in poor services and higher costs for the customers. Interesting Times for a Digital Marketer. 

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Business Momentum - Underappreciated Concept in Corporate World

Disclaimer: This post is cross-posted from my linked post @

While we all appreciate the bravado of Snap Deal founders terminating all merger/buy-out talks and going ahead with an independent path, my two cents is that Snapdeal would find itself in this same place in another few months and waiting for a white knight to buy it or close-down the business operations.
This is because the biggest challenge facing Snapdeal today is not competition or the business model. But the business momentum lost by Snapdeal– post its lay-offs and merger talks with Flipkart. It has lost significant talent, resources, word of mouth – during this period.
In business, when there is momentum, everything seems to happen, sales managers overachieve, marketing managers generate better return on investment, operations manager bring better efficiency with higher customer satisfaction. Word-of-month and referrals are high. And employees  in the business feel pro-active, whatever they touch becomes gold.
In today’s world, the biggest challenge facing any business is either sustaining the momentum with better products, better offers (e.g. Apple) or bringing the lost momentum back to the business (e.g. Microsoft). And the leadership at organizations generally undervalues the impact of momentum in the business.
While the website traffic at Snapdeal (thanks to organic) – has not shown any major decline, business volume and consumer mindshare has taken a beating. Most importantly business momentum – w.r.t. actions and focus has been lost in the last few months. Regaining the momentum – requires either significant money or significant resources(people), both of which are not in abundance for Snapdeal.