This is no fad, or trend to latch on to. Digital is a change that is set to transform the way business is conducted.
The Curious Digital Marketer opened up the world of digital media marketing for marketers. This book will
help you stay abreast of the fast pace of changes in the sector, and get acquainted with the latest innovations
that are making an impact.
Look forward to a better understanding of online and mobile media, and in doing that, if you crack your next
job interview, drive record sales in your next digital campaign, or become the next social media star – don’t
thank us; thank yourself for buying this book. Happy learning!
Marketing Head, MakeMyTrip
Editor, Storyboard (CNBC)
CEO & Co-Founder, Vserv.mobi
“At this point in time, Indian
digital industry needs some
highly proficient experts and this
is an initiative in that direction.
The book is a must read for
media professionals and digital
advertisers who want a clear
understanding of digital media
and the opportunities it provides.
I wish afaqs! Campus and the
contributors all the very best for
this unique initiative and hoping
to see a better equipped digital
industry from hereon.”
“The Curious Digital Marketer,
to me, is like my copy of
Chambers Dictionary. I don’t
need it all the time, but when I
do, it had better be around.”
“Mobile is just not a medium;
it is a consumer lifestyle that is
fundamentally changing how
we live, work and play. As a
brand custodian, advertisers are
looking at ways to mobilise their
brand strategies. This sequel of
‘The Curious Digital Marketer’
will enable advertisers to
navigate this journey effectively
by demystifying concepts and
bringing synergy to their mobile,
social, digital campaigns.”
THE CURIOUS MARKETER 2.0
MRP: ` 350
Authored by 12 Digital Media Professionals
THE CURIOUS DIGITAL MARKETER 2.0
Today, with the audience for digital media heading towards the 150 million mark, chief marketing officers of
the biggest as well as the youngest entrepreneur-driven firms have embraced digital marketing. Spends across
the biggest firms are effectively doubling every year. Used well, digital is proving to be a game changer for
marketers, and an equally grave threat if left out. In fact, leading industry experts predict a share of over 20
per cent for digital media as early as 2015 in India, from less than 5 per cent in 2010.
Twelve of India’s leading digital marketing practitioners provide you with the answers to
key questions around digital marketing. This is your quick and interactive guide to stay ahead.
Authored by 12 Digital Media Professionals
Digital marketing is finally an integral
part of the marketing mix and this book
will help marketers keep pace. Twelve
of India’s leading digital marketing
practitioners answer more than 101 of
the most commonly asked questions.
The Curious Digital Marketer 2.0 is
your quick and interactive guide to stay
Kapil Ohri [Head, afaqs! Campus]
Reem Saied [Head, Digital Strategy & Alliances, Ad Magnet]
Gayathri Choda [Head, Analytics, India & MENA, MediaMind]
Vishal Jacob [Senior Director, Digital, GroupM (Maxus)]
Sairam Ranganathan [Business Group Head, GroupM (Maxus)]
Amit Lall [Head, Mobile Marketing, Mobile2Win]
Manoj Kandasamy [Business Group Head, Mobile, GroupM (Maxus)]
Karan Anand [Group Head, Strategy Planning & Mobile, Interactive Avenues]
Geetanjali Anderson [Group Head, Media and Search, Media2Win]
10. Sanjay Mehta [Joint CEO, Social Wavelength]
11. Advit Sahdev [Co-founder, ODigMa]
12. Majid Khan [Business Director, South, OMD]
13. RP Singh [CEO, Sirez Group]
14. Preetham Venkky [Business Head, KRDS Asia]
Deer in the headlights.
Round up a bunch of Indian marketers of my vintage.
Look closely into their eyes, and I predict that you will
see the same cocktail of fear, shock, incomprehension
and ignorance that the proverbial herbivore displays
when staring at a speeding automobile on a pitch dark
I find this idiom particularly evocative because, much
like the poor animal in the picture above, the marketer
is typically a fully grown, mature and experienced
individual in his sphere of life, believing he can deal
with most of the stuff being thrown at him. And as it
happens, the situation he is placed in when discussing
digital marketing is not without information, in fact there
is a surfeit of it.
Trouble is, it’s all coming too fast, it’s mostly alien stuff
and it is a huge challenge to process it all in real time
to take decisions that will save the brand’s life. If I may
mix metaphors now, us old dogs are being asked to
learn new tricks, which is tough enough at the best of
times, but is compounded by our egos coming in the
way of asking the right questions that could educate and
empower us to forge ahead in this brave new world.
What’s more, truth be told, we are all more than a little
suspicious of the hordes of ‘snake-oil salesmen’ who
are all trying to peddle their wares to us as miracle cures
for the age old problems of RoI from marketing et al.
Everything is illuminated.
Fortunately, help is at hand. This useful tome delivers
on its succinct promise of making everything clear to us.
Using the most intuitive format of FAQs, it allows us to
dip in and find explanations on every single granular
thing that befuddles us about this most important, now
hard to ignore space of digital marketing. What’s more,
it allows you to do so at your own pace.
Snack on it when you are taking a break, refer to it
when in need, browse through it when on a weekend
holiday. Whichever way you consume it, I am confident
you will emerge wiser, more confident and prepared to
do battle, now armed with a digital arsenal of ideas and
knowledge that can only help you do your job better.
In sum, there is light at the end of the tunnel, enlightenment and emancipation await.
Executive Vice President & Group Head, Marketing,
#Table of Content
What tools do digital media planners use to get data for media planning?
What are rich media ads? How is a rich media ad different from a standard display ad
(whether static or flash animated banner)?
What is dwell time? Where is dwell time reported?
How can I get 100 per cent share of voice (SOV) via online display ads?
What are the different buying options available under e-mail advertising?
Why should we pay for e-mailers if the recipient has not opened the mail for EDM
(electronic direct mail) campaigns?
How can I find out the unduplicated audience reach between two sites?
How can I find out the audience duplication between a traditional channel, say NDTV,
and the digital channel, say NDTV.com?
I would like to promote my products to the existing customers who already visited
my website. How can I reach them? Is it possible to promote products to the
same user across online sites?
How does re-targeting work?
What is the difference between audience buying and content/genre-based buying?
How is a user’s browsing behaviour tracked for audience buying?
Is audience buying alone sufficient or do I need to supplement audience buying
with content buying?
What is the AdChoices icon?
I bought ad inventory via an ad network. Is there any way to know where my ad
is being displayed and is the ad location (on the website) good enough to be
discovered by the user?
All digital media plans look same. I see same portals again and again in most
media plans. On which basis you decide portals to be used for the campaign?
My target audience is available on a leading portal but the cost of advertising on
it is very high. Can you prepare a media plan to reach and target the precise
audience via some other online platform?
How do I ensure that publishers don’t employ robots/people to keep clicking on
my ads or don’t follow any other fraudulent practice to increase the click
numbers/CTR and hence charge me more?
How do I split my digital ad budget across different channels?
20. How is optimisation done on display advertising?
How can I find out the optimum reach of my campaign?
22. Is there any tool available which can be used to optimise a certain ad network?
23. There are more than 20 ad creatives for a single campaign. How do I know which
creative is performing better and how can I utilise it more for other placements?
24. What are TrueView ads on YouTube?
25. Should I opt for in-stream video ad or banner ad on YouTube?
26. What is a good CTR for a pre-roll video ad?
27. How can I increment views of my video on YouTube?
28. What should my digital strategy be if I want my brand to stay active on
digital media all the time?
Search Engine Marketing
What is Google PageRank?
What are meta tags?
How is ad inventory bought on Google?
What is more important – SEM (paid search) or SEO?
When is it best to use SEO and SEM?
If my website is visible among the first three places in search, why must I do SEM?
When and why should I bid on long tail keywords?
What is search re-marketing? How does it work?
Why should I do search retargeting if I am already doing site retargeting?
How do I allocate budget between SEO and SEM?
I have a good content strategy in place. Do I still need SEO?
How can I integrate search with my offline advertising activities?
If I keep doing only SEO/SEM, do I need to use other formats like display and mobile?
Is it recommended to launch a digital campaign without SEM?
What is EdgeRank in Facebook? Why does it matter?
How is EdgeRank calculated?
Why should I invest in Facebook pages when less than 20 per cent of fans
typically see the posts?
If social is where people are spending maximum time and we have a
Facebook page, do we really need a website?
What is the best way to acquire a fan base on Facebook?
What is Engagement Rate on Facebook and how is it calculated?
What is the 20 per cent text rule for Facebook ads?
How do I determine that our image for ad/promoted content adheres to
20 per cent rule?
I uploaded an ad on Facebook advertising platform but it was rejected/denied. Why?
What category of products can’t be advertised on Facebook?
Which works better – ads to website or ads to Facebook page?
What is Web of Trust and why is it important for me to know about it before
creating a Facebook Ad?
How can I target fans of other brand pages?
What’s the conversion rate for Facebook ads sent to the website?
Is it possible to track sales for each and every Facebook campaign that
we execute? Are there any tools available for this?
Last month, we routed heavy money on Facebook ads and there was no
Google AdWords campaign on at that time.Surprisingly, our website visits from
Google Search went up. Why?
How does Facebook prevent bogus and fake clicks?
How do I know that I am not being charged for fans that like my page because
they got to know about my business from other campaigns?
What is the process for listing offers on Facebook?
20. What is Graph Search? What can users search using Graph Search?
How does Graph Search help my business?
22. How do I optimise for Graph Search?
23. Can I calculate the value of my Facebook Page fan? Is the value of my fan
equal to the cost of acquisition of that fan?
24. What are the advantages of Facebook applications, both from a branding
perspective and from an ROI perspective?
What is the difference between Native apps and Mobile Web apps?
Should I make Native app or Mobile Web app for my brand?
How do I identify the most popular applications on mobile?
I have created an app, now how can I get enough users for it?
Is it right to build a Mobile app for a campaign or should I build an app which
is generic and of use on a long term basis?
How do I monetise my app?
Why should I have a mobile site when I already have an online site?
As a brand, should I replicate my website completely on mobile or should I
offer limited content on mobile?
How does a brand decide between an application and a mobile site?
Do I need a mobile site if I already have a responsive website?
How can I tell a story in such a small screen?
What is the difference between Promotional and Transactional SMSes?
Why should we do SMS and Voice campaigns? These are spam, right?
Can I integrate TV advertising with the Mobile platform, apart from displaying a
URL or SMS short code?
Do users in Tier II and III towns and rural markets show heavy mobile usage
patterns like their urban counterparts?
Why is CTR of mobile ads higher as compared to online standard banner ads?
Can we use QR codes on outdoor hoardings?
How can IVR be used in mobile marketing?
Why should I target feature phone users?
20. Can I target my ad only to a particular handset or operator?
For what categories is Location Based Advertising (LBA) recommended?
What is the difference between page views, visits and unique visitors?
How is new visitor different from repeat user?
What is the difference between bounce rate and exit rate?
How do I know if my website has a good bounce rate?
My website home page has 1 million visitors per month but my registrations
page has only 5,000 visitors. How do I know why people drop from my website?
How do I know which media channel is driving more traffic to my website?
In my traffic referral sources data (on Google Analytics), I see ‘Not provided’
mentioned as a keyword. Why and what does it mean?
How can I differentiate between SEM and SEO keywords in my reports?
What is tagging? What is the difference between page tagging and event tagging?
What is link tagging and how can it be used to track performance of ads for a digital
marketing campaign? How can I track its performance using Google Analytics?
How can I track my offline marketing campaigns (print, TV, radio ads or
on-ground activation) and find out their impact on my website?
Do I need to tag my organic search keywords?
What happens if I do not tag or use wrong tags for incoming traffic?
Can I track Facebook ‘Likes’ in Google Analytics?
What is conversion rate? What is a typical conversion rate?
There are sudden peaks in my visitor traffic. How do I know what causes these?
How do I know if my website is performing better than my competitor’s?
I have multiple creative ad units prepared for a new campaign. Is there a way
to know which one will perform better before the launch of the campaign?
Where can I get overall reach performance data for my digital brand campaign?
20. How does YouTube count a video view?
How can I find out the effectiveness of my website in terms of accomplishing
my business objectives?
22. Should I follow the same metrics to measure my online marketing campaigns
and mobile marketing campaigns?
23. Which web analytics tool is the best for my business?
Online display advertising
broadly consists of banner ads,
image ads and video ads.
The Curious Digital Marketer 2.0
DIGITAL ADVERTISING IN INDIA*
DIGITAL AD SPENDS
Note: The ad spends from 2011-12 onwards
comprises spends on search, display,
mobile, social media, e-mail and video
Industry Estimates in INR Crores
INDUSTRY WISE AD SPENDS
(FY 2011-2012) INR 1750
(FY 2012-2013) INR 2260
SPLIT OF DIGITAL AD SPENDS
Total Digital Ad Spend
Search Ad Spends
In App Adv
Mobile web Adv
Mobile,Video & TV,
SMS, MMS Adv
Display Ad Spends
Mobile Ad Spends
True View Ads by Google
Total Digital Ad Spend
Tweets & Posts
Social Media Ad Spends
In Video Ads
Standard In- Stream Ads
(pre-rolls, mid-rolls &
Video Ad Spends
*Source: IAMAI - IMRB
1. What tools do digital media planners use to get data
for media planning?
The Curious Digital Marketer 2.0
2. What are rich media ads? How is a rich media ad
different from a standard display ad (whether static or
flash animated banner)?
A standard display or banner ad consists of either a static or movable image (GIF
file or Flash file). Usually, the standard banner ad has a single clickable option,
which routes users to “destination or landing page”. Here, the ‘click’ on banner is
tracked as ‘click-through’.
Rich media ads offer multiple interaction options to users. For instance -- click to
expand the banner or expand on mouse rollover. It also enables the advertiser to
embed video films, ‘Facebook Like’ button and ‘Call’ facility inside the banner. A
user can click on the video to play it inside the banner, click to make a phone call,
and also click ‘Facebook Like’ button. Thus, various interactions -- between the user
and the ad – can occur within the ad unit itself. One of the clickable options could
lead the user to ‘another destination or landing page’.
Every interaction with a rich media ad unit can be tracked. For instance, the
advertiser can pull data on the number of clicks used to expand the banner ad,
number of times the embedded video played/viewed, time spent on video viewing,
the total amount of time spent on the creative or ad unit and the number of users
who clicked on the ‘Facebook Like’ button etc.
Another important distinction between a standard display ad unit and a rich media
ad is the size of the creative. Usually, rich media ad units are much heavier (more
than 40KB) than standard ads and are generally served through third party ad
servers as publishers (website owner) cannot serve them through their own servers.
All video ad formats are considered rich media ad formats.
Image 1: Basic difference between text, standard and rich media ads
Ad server is a computer system that stores, maintains and
serves ads to one or more websites. Local Ad server usually
serves ads to single website. Third party ad servers can
serve ads across multiple websites. Third party ad serving
companies for advertisers in India include MediaMind.
com and Google DoubleClick.
3. What is dwell time? Where is dwell time reported?
Dwell time is the average time spent (intentionally) by the user interacting with the
online ad unit.
Dwell time is now becoming a more popular metric to measure the impact of rich
media ad creatives. It is a valid metric only for rich media ads. Time spent is not
measured in the case of standard (jpeg) banner ads. Standard banners are mainly
a communication which the user reads and clicks. So time spent is nearly zero.
Time spent on an ad can be tracked by the publisher ad server or third party
ad serving platforms such as Mediamind and Doubleclick. Along with time spent,
it is also possible to track all the actions which happen within a banner ad. All
other actions within a banner ad are known as ‘interactions’. Interaction with the
ad include mouse-on-ad, user-initiated ad expansion (click-to-expand ad), userinitiated video (click-to-play video embedded in ad) and any other customised
Dwell time, as a metric, is used to measure the level of engagement of a creative
ad unit and compare the effectiveness of different ad formats. It is also used to
understand which elements within the ad unit is engaging users more.
4. How can I get 100 per cent share of voice (SOV) via
online display ads?
You can either opt for sponsorship or special advertising options like ‘Roadblock’ to
break through the clutter and get maximum share of voice.
Roadblock will allow you to serve your ads across multiple placements (all slots) on
The Curious Digital Marketer 2.0
the same web page for a specific time period on a website. For instance, homepage
takeover of sites like Yahoo!, MSN and Indiatimes can be used for Roadblock.
Roadblock and sponsorship are useful for brands especially at the time of launching
a new product or making an announcement about a product or company. These
advertising options ensure that the user doesn’t miss the brand communication and
the brand gets the maximum SOV compared to other brands in its category. Higher
SOV could lead to high recall and more sales.
How Mahindra used Roadblock
In January, 2013, the Mahindra group announced its new visual identity and logo. In order
to make sure that a large number of users on digital media could notice the new identity of
Mahindra, the group opted for a roadblock (for nine hours) on the Yahoo! homepage -- which
offers a reach of 3 million unique users1 (approximately)—instead of a standard banner ad. To
get high impact from the roadblock, Mahindra’s logo was put up above the Yahoo! masthead,
thus increasing the chances of attention.
Digital agency Interactive Avenues, which managed this campaign, claims that 14 per cent of
all users who saw this ad unit interacted with the ad and chose to find out details of not only
the new logo but also the Mahindra ideology behind it. For this campaign, Mahindra also
bought regular ad inventory (banner ads of 728X90 pixels; 300X250 pixels) but the results
were strikingly different and performance of regular banners was below par.
1. Read more about unique users on page number122 in the Web Analytics section
Roadblock Pricing Models
The pricing of roadblock advertising is usually based on the duration of the campaign instead
of the number of ad impressions.
Hour-based pricing: Home page takeover ad can be bought on fixed durations of 3
hours, 6 hours, 9 hours, 12 hours or 24 hours. Pricing will differ based on the type of ad
units included in the homepage takeover. As per an industry estimate, homepage takeover
on a leading wedsite can cost anywhere between Rs 6 lakh (3-hour) to Rs 20 lakh (24hour).
Per-day based pricing: This is the most common type of roadblock sold in the industry.
Some publishers charge on a per-day basis. The advertiser can buy a particular ad slot
or all the slots on a particular page or section on the basis of the number of days. For
example, Yahoo! News page roadblock for two days, or the MoneyControl.com jacket ad
for one day. The cost will remain constant without any prior commitment on the inventory
consumption. This can range from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh per day, depending on the type
of ad units included in roadblock.
Sponsorship opportunities are usually available for a fixed duration or for a specific event. For
instance, sponsorship of a cricket series, sponsorship for the Union Budget or sponsorship for
any other sporting event.
Usually, publishers have various kinds of sponsorship options available for a particular event Main sponsor, Associate sponsor, Co-Sponsor etc. For instance, a leading cricket website sells
the main sponsorship for the entire cricket series on a yearly basis and the cost for this could
run into many crores. However, the same website also sells other sponsorships such as Cosponsorship or Associate sponsorship on a series to series basis as well. Similarly, sponsorship
for a Union Budget is a one-time occurrence in a year and is sold for duration of 15-30 days.
Advertisers get huge coverage during such events as the banner/ logo is fixed on the webpage
for a particular duration.
5. What are the different buying options available under
As a marketer, you can purchase e-mail advertising inventory in the following ways:
Fixed: Fixed mailer, also known as mail shot. There is a fixed cost for sending out a
mail shot to a registered database. The publisher charges a fixed cost for using its
database irrespective of open rate, click-through rate (CTR) or leads generated.
CPM: Cost-per mailer. Most publishers follow the CPM model wherein you pay
for the numbers of e-mailers sent out to users, irrespective of open rate and clickthrough rate generated.
The Curious Digital Marketer 2.0
CPO: Cost-per open-up is a response driven model where you pay only for the
number of open-ups generated. This is the best model to opt for if you want to
CPL: Cost-per lead is generating leads using e-mailers. Metrics are calculated
keeping in mind the operating CPL.
Click-through rate is derived by dividing the total number of clicks (the ad unit gets) by the
total number of times the ad is shown (impressions) and is expressed as a percentage.
Open rate is linked to e-mail marketing and represents the total number of people who
opened an email. It is expressed in percentage. In order to track an open rate, the recipient
must allow HTML to be displayed, as well as images to be displayed in the email message.
Click-to-open rate (CTOR) is the ratio of unique clicks as a percentage of unique opens and
represents the percentage of people who clicked the links provided in the mail out of the total
number of people who opened the e-mailer.
6. Why should we pay for e-mailers if the recipient has
not opened the mail for EDM (electronic direct mail)
This question arises when the e-mailer inventory is purchased using CPM (cost-per
mailer) or fixed mailer method. In these cases, you have to pay for every mailer
sent out to users, irrespective of open rate and number of clicks generated. This is
the most widely used method of selling e-mailer inventory by publishers. Even if a
user has not opened a mailer, you will have to pay for it as it has reached the user’s
inbox; and, it is up to the user to open it.
However, you can improve the open-up rate by tweaking factors such as the sender’s
name and subject line, visible to the user. Sender’s name should be relevant and
small. Subject line should ideally be very catchy and crisp to grab attention.
Do’s and Don’ts of Mailer Subject Lines
Keep it short and simple: Clearly state subject line to indicate what’s inside the e-mail.
Studies have indicated that shorter subject lines lead to higher open rates.
Use a call-to-action (CTA) by asking a question. Subject lines framed as questions perform
Test which subject lines works best with your target audience so that you can use it again.
Don’t include words and symbols which may get filtered in spam of e-mail service provider.
Avoid using words relating to sex or pornography, ‘free’, ‘cash’ and references to drugs
like Viagra. Avoid using symbols like @, #, % etc.
Don’t use ‘FW:’ in your subject to indicate that e-mail has come from a trusted source.
7. How can I find out the unduplicated audience reach
between two sites?
The unduplicated reach is usually calculated to know the absolute reach of a
campaign between two selected sites. At times when there are more than two or
three similar sites in a proposed media plan or campaign, chances are that there
could be a high duplication of audiences between these sites. If the duplication is
very high between sites then investments on all sites may need to be reconsidered.
Image 2: ComScore Audience Duplication Tool
The Curious Digital Marketer 2.0
You can use comScore’s Audience Duplication tool to find out how many users are
’duplicated’ between two sites. This tool will give you a snapshot of unique visitors
of various sites, as well as the overlap of unique visitors between the specified sites.
Image 2 shows that 10.270 million people visit xyz.com, while 4.022 million
people visit abcd.com. There are 1.782 million users who visit both sites. So the
unduplicated reach is 12.509 Million (comScore).
8. How can I find out the audience duplication between a
traditional channel, say NDTV, and the digital channel,
There is no cross-media audience measurement tool which can currently do the
above. The only way is to use a market research firm to do a survey.
When you compare print and digital versions of The Times of India (TOI), you could
find that TOI’s reach is way higher on the digital medium than the print version.
Does this mean all TOI print readers are also online? Not necessarily.
Likewise, NDTV’s reach could be much higher on television compared to the digital
medium, and this doesn’t imply that all NDTV digital users also watch the TV
From the audience duplication perspective, it’s not just important to know the
common viewership between two platforms of same company (NDTV and NDTV.
com) but also consider duplication between two different platforms of two different
companies (like NDTV.com and BBC TV) to create effective media plan. Without a
rigorous, statistically valid survey of audience habits across TV, print and digital (or
’unified single source audience data’), we will never know the correct answer.
9. I would like to promote my products to the existing
customers who already visited my website. How can I
reach them? Is it possible to promote products to the
same user across online sites?
Have you ever noticed that often when you visit a website (say xyz.com) and move out
to another site (say abc.com), you start seeing xyz.com ads on abc.com. Similarly,
if you visit an air ticket booking site (say OMGTravel.com), fill some details into the
‘ticket booking page’ (say from ‘Bengaluru’ to ‘New Delhi’) but exit the site without
completing the transaction to go to another site (say LMNOP
.com), then you see an
ad (of OMGTravel.com on LMNOP
.com) with ad copy of ‘Bengaluru’ to ‘New Delhi’
flight tickets at a special discount. This option, where an ad follows you, is called
re-targeting, re-marketing or re-messaging.
Re-targeting works on the hypothesis that it is easier to convert a user who has
visited the website before (assuming that user is interested and is in preference/
consideration stage) rather than converting someone who has never visited your
Re-targeting is a popular feature on various ad-networks2 like Google Display
It is important to note that re-targeting is a way in which you can easily target users
(with ads on other sites) based on some action the user has taken in the recent
past. This is not only confined to users’ actions that occur on your website. You can
also target users who have taken the desired action (first) on other web destinations
(like search engine) other than actions on your website. Read more about search
re-targeting in the Search section and Facebook re-targeting in the Social Media
10. How does re-targeting work?
2. Read more about ad-networks on page number 20 and Google Display Network on page number 44