In this exclusive “Masters of Media” series, Integral Ad Science (IAS) speaks to the Movers and Shakers of the Southeast Asia advertising industry, on all matters digital.
Mudit Govil is the Digital Lead at Mediacom (GroupM Indonesia). He is responsible for planning and buying for multiple brands, focussing on branding and performance.
Integral Ad Science (IAS): Mudit, please tell us about your digital advertising journey and your current role
Mudit: Thank you for having me in this series.
I started my journey almost 7.5 years ago as an Analyst. A turn of events led me to become a part of a team working on digital projects and that heralded the beginning of my digital advertising career. Since then there’s been no looking back and I’ve enjoyed working on digital campaigns and have made an effort to gain experience across the digital ecosystem.
My stint at Pubmatic helped me learn about the supply-side ecosystem and my stint at Airtel team GroupM helped finesse my planning, buying, and operations skills. I moved to OMG and handled programmatic media for Hewlett Packard, post which I got an opportunity to work at Pernod Ricard India where I handled the complete digital marketing scope for BII and BIO portfolio. Wanting to gain geographical exposure, I moved to Mediacom Jakarta and led digital strategy for Non-P&G clients at Mediacom.
IAS: How are the brands in Indonesia pivoting during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Mudit: For any brand, agility and transformation could be the only way to stay alive in the business. In these unpredictable times, idea is to take a more cautious approach and give something to society/consumers and not to sound opportunistic.
In Indonesia, brands pivoted and responded quickly eg. Fast-food chains and aggregators immediately started contactless delivery service to support social distancing, health apps started online facilities. Brands leaned towards their purpose and utilised the situation to put their communication to support greater community-driven messaging. As Nike put it very aptly – Play inside, play for the world.
IAS: What changes do you expect in spending habits over the holiday season?
Mudit: 2020 has transformed consumers’ priorities and shopping needs. Due to this pandemic situation, people are being selective in their mobility and overall spending as well. Attitude towards health, food habits, and shopping have changed. Consumers are more concerned and mindful about all these habits eg from eating out to cooking food at home etc. Overall, there is an increase in online delivery apps and packaged foods. Another change that we have seen is an increase in online shopping (e-commerce). This would even increase more due to promotions/offers throughout the holiday season and ease of digital shopping.
IAS: Any tips for marketers and agencies navigating the new normal in the region?
Mudit: I recommend utilising the cut down budget from other channels against data driven digital marketing and discover new consumer moments and target them. Follow the genres that have seen an increase in overall consumption and prioritise your overall strategy accordingly. Treat e-commerce as a major advertising opportunity and start planning it in advance for the Harbolnas season.
IAS: What are the key initiatives pertaining to digital media quality your company is prioritizing currently? E.g. ad fraud, viewability, brand suitability
Mudit: This pandemic has established a ‘digital first’ lifestyle and a lot has happened in 2020, be it related to phasing out third-party cookies, racial inequality, CCPA etc. and due to which we need to strengthen brand safety measures. At GroupM globally, we invest heavily on digital media quality by keeping best practices for brand safety, privacy, audience demographics, viewability etc.
We have a robust whitelist, exclusion list, negative keywords that is a mandate to use for all digital campaigns. We also work closely with partners like IAS to enable and measure brand health metrics.
IAS: What role will programmatic play in the success of digital advertising?
Mudit: In layman’s terms, programmatic is all about audience, data, and technology; and these are the main pillars of digital media hence there is a vital role of programmatic in the success of digital advertising. The idea of using programmatic ads is to achieve efficiency and avoid wastage. With the overall AI and ML technologies, programmatic has proven to reach out to the right audiences in order to deliver the overall business results. Having said that, transparency and other brand health metrics have always been an issue in digital media, but I believe all these have also been addressed via programmatic be it from the publisher’s end or the advertiser’s end.
If we talk about fraud, ad.txt or even the most recent one i.e. app-ads.txt is there to remove unauthorise resale of inventory. For overall transparency (be it from data or transactional pov), now we have a blockchain that will create a direct link between advertisers and publishers and help to maintain the integrity at each step.
From a business point of view as well, programmatic is key for brands wanting to reach out to the right audience at the right time and in the right environment. Publishers also want to get the right yield for their inventory and programmatic is a one stop solution for all.
IAS: What’s your favorite book/podcast/movie and why?
Mudit: My favorite podcast is Saregama Carvaan (Hindi Bollywood songs) as one of my passion is music. I enjoy listening to and singing songs.
IAS: What is your advice to the fresh talent in the industry?
Mudit: My advice to our fresh talent is to get their basics strong first and keep patience in whatever they do and always try to get hands-on knowledge to gain a better understanding of the overall ecosystem. Read to keep updated about the recent developments.
Another piece of advice is to always have an honest and positive approach. Learn and explore new things at every step and help others by sharing your knowledge as well.