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Fundamentals of Paid Digital Marketing

March 27, 2015
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India is growing at a fast pace in terms of people consuming Internet (300 MN on web, 200 MN on Mobile) on the move. It’s the second biggest market for Facebook / LinkedIn worldwide. A lot of innovations from these major digital platforms are happening parallelly in India. While the platforms (websites) have realized that there is serious audience on Digital in India, the question for most of the marketers these days is to how to crack Digital marketing?

How should we use Digital: example- Social media as engagement platform or reach builder with the latest change of algorithm.

What should be the role of mobile: Should I go the app route / wap route / responsive website route?

But before we get into all this we would like to showcase how we should divide our Digital strategy. The three pillars of Digital marketing will be Paid, Owned, and Earned. This article will try and cover Paid digital marketing aspect.

Paid Digital Marketing- Part 1

What is Paid Digital Marketing: Paid digital marketing is a method to spread a message on different digital platforms (web, mobile, social) in different formats (display, search, promoted posts, in-app advertising, influencers, native advertising, sponsorships, etc).

Advertisers who plan to spread their message on Digital medium rely on paid digital marketing tactics to amplify their message. The advertiser uses specific channel / platform / publisher in the form of banners, videos on web or mobile in Paid digital marketing.

Scope of Paid digital marketing

India is soon going to be the second biggest internet market in the globe. There are around 300 MN desktop internet users and 200 MN mobile internet users. This means that potentially a brand can reach 500 MN internet users, but a word of caution, these audiences are not unique. There is duplication of audience on the two major platforms. The growth of paid digital marketing has seen an upswing in last couple of years, the reason primarily being, heavy internet consumption on mobile.

Role of Paid digital marketing:

A brand relies on paid digital marketing:

• To reach out to the right TG(Target Group)

• Because it is cost efficient

• It is measurable in real time

The brand showcases some communication in form of a banner or video and lures the users to a specific landing page which can be a campaign based microsite, social landing page, a mobile app or a mobile sap site. Where the consumer can perform an action / interact / engage with the brand.

Types of Paid digital marketing:

• Display advertising (Banners, Rich media innovation, Videos, etc)

• Search Advertising

• Mobile Advertising

• Sponsorships

• Native advertising

• Social media

• Email marketing

• Affiliate marketing

A lot of brands use the above advertisings individually or all for a successful digital marketing campaign launch. Basically, it depends from objective to objective. Say for example, A performance oriented client (E-commerce category start-up) would have paid digital marketing mix like search marketing + affiliate marketing + email marketing + mobile marketing + social marketing + remarketing.

If we compare this to a conventional FMCG brand the paid digital marketing media mix will have to skew towards Videos, display banners, social media paid advertising.

Now, the reason behind this is the objective which the two brands are driving. Brands are aware that there is huge set of audience sitting on Digital platform. E-commerce clients have a single mind agenda of showcasing the message and drive sales through banner formats. Whereas FMCG clients need to drive reach, the idea is to showcase message multiple times so that the brand message can be registered, with a usual mandate to reach maximum unique audiences.

Let’s look at how each mode of paid digital marketing can be used for a campaign. We will take an example of a FMCG brand which is planning to use display advertising for a launch.

Step 1 -Launch of Brand X(FMCG)

A comprehensive brief is shared by Client with the creative and media agency.

Step 2- Questioning the brief. Clarifying the doubts

Step 3- Look where you can find the TG online?

Agency refers to tools like comScore (third party validated digital analytics tool) for web in India. It helps the agency planner to figure out which platform (website) the TG is spending maximum time, which website he has the maximum affinity for? On the basis of data / learnings, agency creates a media plan. Example: TG defined is 18-30 year old, male, metro-centric. The agency will come back with the places (publishers) where a brand can advertise, in this case the agency will recommend to be present on social media/ youtube and cricketing site. The first two are selected basis time spent on these platforms and cricketing site basis high affinity.

Step 4- Plan is approved.

Once the plan is approved, the agency will recommend the formats to deliver on objective. Example:

Format one - Videos in form of pre rolls. A 30 second or 1 minute video that can be uploaded on Facebook or Youtube.

Format two - Rich media innovation banner like home page take over

Format three - Banners. Page take over, size 75 kb, flash format, Banners, size 30 Kb, flash/jpeg/gif.

For more details - please visit

Step 5- Creatives are shared with media agency.

Client shares the final creative with media agency and it is further shared with publishers to do Quality check (basically all specs are in place). In case QC fails, the feedback is shared with client and a new creative is shared.

Step 6- Campaign goes live.

Once the campaign is live, agency shares the reports on performance on regular basis.

The above covers only one aspect of paid digital marketing i.e display advertising. In the next blog we shall cover search advertising.


About the Author

I come with over a decade of work experience in the digital marketing field, having worked across some marquee brands like,, Geodesic in the online marketing department and later with agencies like Mindshare (Group M) as lead for Pepsico digital practice and Madison communication where I worked on the following clients- Airtel,, ITC PCPB and Political parties (BJP). Currently, I am part of Omincom group and leading the digital practice for North India.


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