Social media high on India Inc’s marketing budget

by Ashwani Mishra    Oct 04, 2011

socialLast few years has witnessed a remarkable rise in the usage of non-traditional marketing and customer service tools amongst enterprise users.

The emergence of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. are helping many companies create rapid response teams to solve user issues, get feedback on products and services, build brand reputation, generate sales leads and more.

And if strategies and tactics are changing, so is the marketing budget allocation that reflects these changes.

A report released today by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), showed that companies in India have gauged the might of social networking and are currently spending over Rs 1,200 crore with 30 to 40 percent of marketing budget on digital media.

The study titled ‘Explosion of Social Media: Transforming the Corporate Business Scenario,’ observed that majority of start-ups, leading national and international companies operating in India are embracing social media to enhance their business and on an average spending anywhere between Rs two lakh to Rs 50 lakh a year on social marketing campaigns.

As per the report, goods and services worth about Rs 23,000 crore are traded currently on the social networks across the world and the figure is likely to swell to about Rs 1.35 lakh crore by 2015 with India’s share likely to cross Rs 10,000 crore in the next three to four years.

ASSOCHAM interacted with about 1,400 senior management executives from various sectors like BFSI, auto, FMCG, manufacturing, IT, telecom, biotech, education, infrastructure, consumer packaged goods and healthcare to ascertain the extent of their spending on online activities. Around 75 percent of these executives said that they have doubled their spending on social media this year.

Umesh Jain, CIO, YES BANK states that social media is an effective tool to engage with prospective customers, generate leads and helps to solve customer concerns in quick time. “Enterprises cannot ignore the power of social media. It has changed the manner in which people discuss brands,” he says.

YES BANK has been using social media tools in various business areas like advertising, reputation management, brand building, product and innovation, employee engagement etc.

“Brands and advertisers have realized that social media is key component that cannot be missed for any communication or brand strategy. If search was integral and important to every brand, social media is now assuming the same status,” says Amit Bhartiya, Business Head, ViziSense, a company owned and managed by Komli Media India.

Bhartiya adds that since last year marketing departments in Indian companies have put aside around three to four percent of their overall budget on social media. “The interesting part is that these budgets have not come out of their digital budget spending but has led to creation of an additional budget,” he says.

ASSOCHAM findings state that the significance of social media in the current scenario can be gauged from the fact that the department of information technology (DIT) has recently advised all government departments to make the most of social media in their day-to-day work and communicate with citizens effectively.

According to ASSOCHAM Secretary General D S Rawat, companies both large and small are turning to social media platforms as the percentage of internet users on social networking sites continues to climb.