As we move into the last quarter of 2017, PRmoment India takes a look at trends that will continue to impact in 2018.
It’s the big daddy of Telecom. Just as Reliance forced the telecom industry to drop voice call costs a decade ago, it is set to do the same for mobile data. Babaji ka sapna, indeed!
Says Anup Sharma, senior communications consultant,” On the consumer side Jio as a brand is bringing the second wave of mobile revolution to all section of society including the bottom of the pyramid.
Richa Mehta, associate manager, Perfect Relations, agrees quoting the popular tag line, “Dhan Dhana Dhan Jio! It has pulled curtains on the rest of the networks. The industrialist, Mukesh Ambani, has continued to dominate this telecom war which forced others as well to cut down prices. Everyone is now offering competitive pricing.”
According to the Mary Meeker report quoted in ‘The Indian Express,' “India saw a 10 per cent decline in data costs per GB decline on quarterly basis, while voice costs declined 4 per cent quarter on quarter.”
Macro-view: The telecom industry, not surprisingly, has said that the price-cut is unsustainable for the industry and raised the issue of monopoly. Reliance is also pushing for an end to inter connection user charge or IUC, that networks pay as they hop from one network to the other.
It’s the GST, stupid!
The big bang reform, a single tax to bind them all. Except, it has been fraught with teething troubles, from the multiple filings to the delays in getting a GST number. Either way, GST is here to stay.
The GDP , its also the economy stupid!
Sanchit Khera, director, FiveMV Marketing Consulting, also picks “Weak GDP numbers” as a trend that will continue through 2018. The numbers, at 5.7%, have, naturally, generated tons of coverage. Experts, both for and against, have weighed in, in one of the fiercest perception battles over an economic issue in recent times.
Video on Demand
International, uncensored, entertainment finally reached India for good. With Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, video streaming has become an essential part of urban life. You can start your day with ‘Game of Thrones’, if you wish and finish it with an AIB comic sketch if you wish.
This helped to mitigate some of the damage done by the ‘Central Board of Film Certification’ under the controversial Pahlaj Nihalani.
Says Sharma, “The new India always 'on the go' now have an international platform to watch what they want from across the world at their time. Its also bringing the slow death of cable subscription and giving new meaning to DTH - now it's DTU - direct to you (whether home or out).”
Device on Steroids
The Amazon Fire TV stick that let’s you view all your video entertainment on your TV.
India’s breakout Hollywood star. Says Mehta, “With no ‘Godfather ‘anywhere, her PR and marketing team has created a mega star in the world. She has conquered with ‘Quantico,' ‘Baywatch’ and the most interesting red carpet looks.”
#140 or #280!
Twitter finally did the unthinkable! It is test-driving an increase in the, so far sacrosanct, 140 character limit for a tweet. Says, “Mehul Gupta, co-founder & director, SoCheers), "The increase in Twitter character limit has its own sets of pros & cons. We’ve seen B2C brands move away from Twitter because of the limitations of the platform to a more visual approach in general that Facebook and Instagram offer. On the other hand, B2B customers will benefit from the increase in character limitations since Twitter as a platform works for them."
Modi vs. The rest of the World
Sanchit Khera picks the, ”Further divide between Modi supporters and detractors," as an ongoing trend.
Certainly, the online war between those who support Modi and those who do not, has been vicious, vitriolic and very, very vocal.
WhatsApp messages, Twitter, Facebook posts, videos, all are grist to the great war mill between the right, the centre right and the left. Never before has India seen such a sharp divide play out through such an organised online campaign, resulting in 2017 being the year of the patriot. National interest and patriotism became the stick to beat all opposition with.
Women’s Cricket and Men’s Boxing
Though India is usually about cricket, cricket and yet more cricket, and occasionally about badminton and hockey; this year saw other sports interests.
Astha Thapliyal, independent sports PR consultant, says, “From sports perspective I would say this year has been really great. A sport that was male dominated for so many generations, exemplary performances by the women's cricket team helped changed that mindset.”
Above Mithali Raj, captain, Indian Women’s cricket team
Adds Thapliyal, “Another very interesting thing has been the Vijender Singh-Amir Khan boxing battle. Amir's two visits to India and Vijender's undefeated pro boxing record, all comes down to one big question, “When will the big fight happen?"
“For boxing fans it’s the war between India and Pakistan via boxing. [ Khan is a British boxer of Pakistani origin). Throughout 2016-17 online and offline media has seen a lot of war of words between the two boxers but the world awaits the battle inside the ring with these two biggest Asian pro boxers.”
Vijendra Singh ( left) and Aamir Khan ( right), the two Asian origin boxing superstars.
As e-tailers attempt to boost sales even as funding becomes tighter, pop-ups became an important strategy to connect with customers. From food to fashion to perfume launches via a Twitter popup, popups are here to stay.
A pop-up by furniture e-tailer, Bent Chair. The firm says its is self-funded and profit making.
From ‘The Handmaiden’s Tale’ to triple talaq, women’s issues and safety was a major trend in 2017. A subtle shift is taking place it is no longer possible to get away without at least talking about women’s rights
Other trends in 2017
# Campus Politics, religion and caste
#Kangana Ranut, nepotism and all
# Blue Whale game
# Mumbai's insane flooding that just happened
# RERA - real estate is shifting real estate prices
# Big layoffs in tech companies
# Year of the Godmen, Ram Rahim, Yogi Adityanath et al.
# The mainstream, profit making indie film-Newton, Bareilly ki Barfi, Lipstick under my Burqa.