80% Companies in India Have Increased Their Digital Marketing Spend To A Great Extent [REPORT]

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Businesses are being bullish about digital marketing spend in India, all thanks to the increasing internet penetration, pushed by the novel coronavirus.

When the COVID-19 hit globally, it led to massive lockdowns and curfews and that in turn tossed up consumer behaviour entirely. Individuals all over the world increased their screen times and focused mainly on interacting online. 

This is when businesses started putting more emphasis on digital marketing in order to keep up. Now, to assess how exactly the pandemic impacted various organisations, their challenges and marketing spend, specifically in India, Criteo which is a global technology company recently released a report titled ‘COVID-19 Impact on Marketing’. The report highlights a few key trends in digital marketing spend in India that every company must pay attention to.


The company surveyed 105 senior-level marketing executives in India and found that 54% of them saw a surge in website sales, online bookings/orders during the COVID-19 while 43% of marketers reported to a drop in revenue in 2020.

Source: Criteo Report

The report also reveals that half of the marketers are committed to take their digital marketing campaigns ahead as planned and that driving online sales and visits will be instrumental for businesses to move forward in 2021.

According to Criteo’s report, 4 out of 10 marketers believe Covid-19 has accelerated the pace of digital transformation when it comes to business processes. Further, 46% of survey respondents claimed that because of the same, they have observed an increase in efficiency while 45% of them have confirmed an increase in customer loyalty.

The survey also highlighted how businesses, post-COVID-19, are now more aware of the digital landscape than ever as 8 out of 10 marketers in the country said that the budget allocated for digital marketing spend at their company has increased due to pandemic.

When asked why did the digital marketing function increase in their companies during the pandemic, a whopping 71% of responding marketers said that it was to make sure they keep their customer base engaged during COVID-19. This was followed by 69% marketers who focused on acquiring new customers while 59% said it was to get new customers and drive more sales.

Source: Criteo Report

Taranjeet Singh, Managing Director of South East Asia and India, Criteo, in a statement about the survey, said that it reveals the fact that digital transformation will continue to be a driving force in 2021 as more and more companies are realising they might never be able to go back to ‘business as normal.’

According to him, by analysing the new trends, deciphering market insights and understand growing customer changes in behaviour, marketers can develop viable marketing campaigns that make sure a company is moving ahead into the future.

Note here that Criteo’s report also highlighted that the pandemic led to the significant reallocation of overall marketing spend and a change in strategy due to the pandemic. The survey revealed that more budgets were spent across digital media marketing and digital channels during that period – a change which will remain intact and continue in the upcoming years.

58% of marketers in India said that their digital campaigns are heavily reliant on ‘walled gardens’. Even though the digital marketing budgets have increased, 50% of marketers are concerned about brand safety and high dependency on Facebook, Google and Amazon.

Nearly 50% of marketers in India said that the budget commitments for marketing for new product/service launches are going ahead as planned and that events and marketing campaigns are the areas which have been more negatively impacted during the COVID-19.

Lastly, the Criteo report highlights that 70% of marketers said digitalisation of business operations will continue to be their topmost priority while 51% sad that their budget for advertising on publisher websites and apps will likely see an increase this year.

Digital Ad Spend India 2022

India is going through a digital revolution phase. Companies are spending more on digital processes and campaigns than traditional business methods. According to another report by Dentsu, the digital advertising industry in India is estimated as big as Rs 28.24 crore ($3.98 billion) by 2022, accounting for 30% of total media ad spend.

BFSI, E-commerce and Consumer durables are the top vertical that will attract the most of digital media spend in India.


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