There’s no denying it: we’re in a new normal, life has changed forever, we can’t go back to our old ways. I’m sure everyone agrees on that. But what exactly is the new normal?
For regular humans, it refers to masks, sanitizer, keeping social distance in public, that kind of stuff. For marketers, it means learning a whole new game. Let’s get into the details, starting with India’s digital demographics:
- 730 million (73cr) Indians use the internet. Out of this, 530 million use it in Hindi or their local language, while 200 million use English.
- Indians LOVE video content. This is perhaps why we spend a staggering average of 4 hours a day glued to our phones.
- 50% of Indians have carried out at least one online transaction, the rest are fence-sitters.
- 68% of internet users are in rural areas.
Geo-targeted digital hoardings are now pushing their way into the hinterlands, not just the big cities. Content is being more localized by the day.
All the extra time people have on their hands has made them explore new platforms like Helo and Sharechat. If you grew up in a big city, chances are you don’t know what these two are. Helo, a content discovery app, has crossed 100 million downloads on the Play Store. Sharechat, with as many downloads, performs a similar function but with the addition of chatrooms.
The urban audience, well at least the ones who haven’t lost their jobs, are spending all their time on co-working tools like Slack and Zoom. Many are also spending their after-hours on tracking apps to check the situation in their area. The concept of live trackers, at least ones with such accuracy, is relatively new and is bound to pick up for other illnesses in the future.
Marketers are also paying closer attention to gaming & gambling apps. Ludo, Scrabble, Animal Crossing and Online Rummy are all competing for a slice of every user’s time – this includes people of all ages, who may not have been into mobile gaming before the pandemic.
City dwellers have been hogging on memes for nearly a decade – but the rural audience has picked them up too, albeit in local languages. Other formats gaining pace include virtual events (like webinars), stories, mailers, notifications, etc. Companies have also figured out that websites are now taking up the center stage since real-life office visits aren’t really happening.
Content Tonality & Communication Types
Through the COVID months, content creators are taking the sensible route with safety, nostalgia & hope. Fancy and quirky content has been dropped for clarity of communication. Corporations have turned to their HR managers to keep teams motivated in the face of looming uncertainty. Industrialists are focusing on relationship building/maintenance.
The Rise of Freelancers
As firms have been forced to decentralize, there has been a rise in the demand for freelancers in design, writing, tech – pretty much every field. Even niche services like freelance language translation have seen a jump in growth.
Time seems to be frozen still on the streets, but a large chunk of the public has managed to stay entertained (and employed) from the confines of their homes. New habits have risen out of necessity – habits that are likely to stick for the long term.