By Vasuta Agarwal
“Strength and Speed in Hands and Feet” – This quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great American essayist and philosopher, is the first thing that occurs to me when I talk about the advent of 5G in India and how brands, marketers and media tech professionals must prepare for it.
According to a Delloite report, India’s digital economy is estimated to reach $1 trillion by 2025 through increased smartphone adoption, fast internet penetration, and acceleration of mobile broadband and data connectivity. However, the 5G network is conceivably the main catalyst fueling this growth.
The 5G network has higher data peak rates, higher throughput, lower latency and higher connection density compared to 4G networks and is therefore expected to result in an improved experience for all connected consumers.
With the transformative promise of 5G and its imminent launch across India, marketers must think carefully about how they can leverage it in the future of digital advertising.
A rapid boom in mobile entertainment, gaming and content consumption
5G technology will fundamentally change the processing power of phones. In addition, the data speed is expected to be around 10 Gbps. Not only will this enable richer user experiences, but it will also revolutionize the content that can be accessed by the average Indian. This means that the continued democratization of entertainment through game applications, OTT video and short video will see a rapid boom and will own the lion’s share of the time consumers spend on media via their devices, especially mobile devices. Marketers should keep this shift in mind when designing and modeling their media mix in the coming days.
Immersive mobile video experiences as standard5G will work with less than 1ms latency, which in advertising terms means that display issues, buffering, and blank ads will soon be out of the question. Any barriers to mobile video and multimedia advertising must be removed, to engage consumers with highly targeted, highly personalized experiences and new levels of engagement. This will enable a closer connection between the consumer, the brand and its products. The confluence of 5G, artificial intelligence, cloud computing technology, significantly higher bandwidth, and greater responsiveness will make cost-effective, AR-based, interactive video ad experiences the new standard that consumers have come to expect. For brands and media agencies, this could mean a radical re-imagining of their video creative strategy to include playable or shoppable video ads as mainstream.
How brands can prepare for a 5G-led advertising future
Given its potential to impact current business models and industry competition, conversations about 5G should be brought up to the boardroom. Councils must first understand how 5G technology will affect existing operations in the context of the competitive landscape, and therefore what this means to share with customers.
As digital became the second largest channel for advertisers last year and nearly 60% of digital ad spend went to mobile in India, it is inevitable that 5G will accelerate the decline of non-digital media. India is already mobile first in its approach (nearly 90% of consumers access the internet using mobile as their primary device) but 5G will enhance this with improved value-sharing through high-quality audio-visual and emotional experience leading to mobile-first video approach .
Above all, it will require a shift in the creative mindset and technological capacity for hyper-customization at scale. Brands need to think about how to build, buy, or gain the ability to aggregate, unlock, and manage vast amounts of disparate data to deliver immersive and meaningful customer experiences. And in time, they will need to take advantage of a whole new breed of technological innovation and data science to gain deeper insights into consumer desire and behavior. It would potentially mean additional identity management technology to responsibly communicate and make use of this data while respecting the basic privacy of its customers.
Brands and agencies must ensure they have all the right technologies, processes, and people to manage the exponential shift in consumer expectations and ad technology experiences due to the 5G revolution.
The author is Managing Director, APAC, at InMobi. The opinions expressed are subjective.
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