Marketers In Sync With Ad Reports On Increasing Spends In 2024

Looking to invest strategically in the future, upcoming elections and sports stand tall as the juggernaut for marketers to shell out big monies

It is official!

Despite the economic turbulence and gnawing impacts of the pandemic, a hundred per cent of marketers signal optimism in their marketing spends in 2024. New report data exhibit green shots in brands' marketing budgets across sectors, given the improvement in spending power. Alongside, inflation and interest rates are expected to begin to fall in 2024, which will translate into more money in the hands of consumers and boost demand for goods and services in certain sectors.

In the past week, the Pitch Madison Report 2024 also reported adex to grow by 12 per cent and cross INR 1.11 lakh crore in 2024. GroupM's TYNY Report 2024 exuded similar sentiments, stating that at 10.2 per cent, India will be the fastest-growing top market. "2024 will also see an upside from the spending leading to the general elections. Digital, particularly retail media and digital extensions of TV, are expected to drive the growth," mentions Prasanth Kumar, CEO, GroupM South Asia.

The Marketers Speak

In the dynamic landscape today, the question of whether to increase budgets in 2024 is not just a financial consideration but a strategic imperative. As businesses evolve and consumer behaviours continue to shift, allocating resources to an effective marketing strategy becomes pivotal for sustained growth.

After a bumpy start to 2023 due to the macro uncertainties, the market appears to be celebrating its return to higher growth in 2024, with gen AI, advertising opportunities from Big Tech, and bigger bets on the digital media surface. 

Mohanraj Jagannivasan, CEO, consumer business, Duroflex, supports escalated marketing expenditures as the brand strives to dominate consumers' mind share. Anticipating a decline in stress among Indian consumers amidst the global economic crisis, it is an opportune time to boost promotional activities. "Key events such as the IPL, Cricket World Cup, and the Olympics present unparalleled opportunities for brand exposure and engagement. By strategically allocating resources to capitalise on these major events, businesses can strengthen their market presence and connect with a diverse audience. This proactive approach not only navigates economic uncertainties but also positions companies for sustained growth in a dynamic landscape," he believes. 

Even for Dheeraj Arora, MD and CEO of Hygienic Research Institute (HRIPL), the decision to boost the marketing budget for 2024 accentuates their dedication to remaining competitive and amplifying the brand's visibility in today’s dynamic market. "As part of our long-term strategy, we plan to strengthen our brands and fortify our portfolio by driving penetration, upgrading, and consumption. In line with that, we are looking to step up our investments and amplify our brand presence across multiple consumer touchpoints. Additionally, we recognise the significance of adapting to the evolving media landscape and allocating budgets for both conventional and new-age media platforms to maximise reach and impact,” he asserts.

The Digital Imperative

In an era dominated by digital interactions, a significant portion of consumer engagement occurs online. The surge in online users and journeys, the powerful prevalence of OTT, and the growing influence of online reviews underline the need for an expanded digital presence, specifically in deeper geographies like Tier II and III. "Increasing the digital marketing budget enables businesses to tap into these geographies and trends, fostering brand visibility and engagement where it matters most. We are looking at an approx. 20 per cent increase in our marketing budgets, and more than 50 per cent of the same is allocated to digital spends. The marketing budgets include activities targeted towards brand awareness and lead generation," shares Madhvi Gupta, head of marketing, communications, ESG, and CSR at IIFL Home Finance.

Gunjan Khetan, marketing director at Perfetti Van Melle India, also shares the brand's unwavering focus on spending in the Indian market. "We believe in the India story and will continue investing across the organisation in India. This is true for marking as well. We will invest and overinvest in India, continuing to favour digital."

As global advertising presents a steady picture, digital is leading the charge at a commanding 79 per cent share of all ad revenue, according to GroupM's TYNY ad report. At INR 88,502 crores of the overall INR 1,55,386 crore, digital will contribute to 57 per cent of all ad revenue in India. Within digital ad revenue, search contributes 22 per cent, retail media 18 per cent, and the rest 60 per cent. Sectors like auto, real estate, and offline retail are expected to power the overall advertising growth.

Madhur Khanna, marketing director at Mars Petcare India, emphasises that the brand's primary objective will remain to foster category awareness, and their investments are in line with their growth ambition. "As digital platforms evolve, our communication strategies are tailored to meet distinct consumer needs, necessitating efficient optimisation for maximum ROI across innovative media channels. We balance our investments to maximise awareness and engagement on both offline and digital platforms," she comments.

The business landscape is inherently volatile, subject to unforeseen challenges such as macroeconomic factors. Investing in marketing during these times is not just about maintaining visibility but also about building brand resilience. A consistent, well-funded marketing presence instills confidence in consumers, fostering brand loyalty that withstands challenges. A well-analysed digital landscape also lets brands retarget and create lookalikes, making it extremely data-driven for target audiences.

In conclusion, increasing marketing budgets in 2024 is not just about spending more; it's about strategically investing in the future. Whether embracing the digital frontier, adapting to changing consumer behaviour, staying competitive, maximising ROI, or building brand resilience, a well-considered increase in marketing budgets is an investment in sustained growth and relevance.