The Perfect Guide to Advertising in 2020

I think you’ll agree with us when we say:

“Advertising remains the most integral and unavoidable cost to any business enterprise.”

Be it a small business operated from home, or a billion-dollar enterprise, advertising is crucial in terms of raising awareness about the availability of your products and services. 

The question remains, how do you, as a marketer choose the right advertising channel, which will contribute to all your business goals?

There are certain parameters based on which you will choose an advertising channel, or more, depending on your need and budgets. 

In this guide, we explore the several available modes of advertising, with an aim to educate our readers, and help them make a better decision

Let’s get started.

Current advertising scenario

Currently, with the influx of digital marketing channels in India, advertising has taken a tremendous shift to online modes and is accommodating advertisers with smaller budgets. 

curentadvertsiing scenario

Image Source

Mobile ad spends in India, as recent as 2018 amounted to 810mn USD. Not just that, the expected spending on mobile devices will reach a share of 64% by 2022. 

In Traditional media channels, Television continues to enjoy the top spot, given its huge reach. Ad revenue from TV was accounted for  251 billion in 2019. In 2020, Out of Home advertising is expected to grow consistently at 9% to retain the market spend share of 6%. 

The need for information is the main driving force to consume media. Another factor is the need to connect with friends and family. 

As far as ad spend goes by industry, the FMCG sector is the biggest spender, contributing 30% of the total ad spend of the advertising industry. This is followed by the E-commerce segment with 10%. 

Exploring Offline Concepts:

In the era of digitalization in all spheres, offline mediums of advertising are facing a steep downfall in usage. However, they aren’t completely dead. Most of these mediums are well alive and thriving, owing to their timeless relevance and specific features that cannot be emulated by online advertising tools. 


Image Source

Amidst the loud and increasing uproar of digital marketing in 2020, traditional media continues to benefit advertisers and brands, becoming a significant part of their ad budgets. This is primarily because the digital world is becoming highly saturated and attention spans of internet consumers are low. Advertisers feel that many of these offline channels garner more interest than an ad on the internet which is cursorily glanced for less than 2 seconds. 

To truly understand how each channel works, let us explore them singularly, and read through the statistics to better inform advertisers, and marketing managers. 

Rethinking Outdoor Media

Digital billboards have completely revolutionized the way OOH is perceived and rendered in Tier 1 cities. With the use of more modern electronic displays, OOH goes a step further to disrupt passerby attention and get looks from audiences, thereby powerfully reverberating the brand message.

OOH is the only medium people cannot ignore and therefore, advertisers are getting really creative with their hoardings. After all, no one stays home, 24 hours a day. At some point people will go out and encounter a digital screen flashing the next big thing, wanting you to empty your pockets.

pasted image 0

Image source

With brands finding new and powerful ways to engage with their audiences, the fight for a physical location with more footfalls is pretty evident. Tapping into audience insights and data can uncover prime locations to advertise at. 

Given that OOH has had a massive growth of ad spend in the past 5 years, from INR 2,000 crore in 2014 to INR 3,400 crore in 2019, i.e a compounded annual growth rate of 11 percent, a large number of advertisers are looking forward to putting their message under the skies. 

People may scroll over an ad on Facebook or Google, but a billboard on the way to work is hard to ignore. OOH, and DOOH are here to stay. 

Is Broadcast Media still relevant?

Traditional media channels like TV and Radio, are seemingly seeing a decline in their usage, with new-age internet-based options like OTT platforms, Podcasts and social media videos taking their place as favourable forms of entertainment. 

Yet the big brands continue to spend millions of dollars each year to get their message out on broadcast media platforms. Turn on your TV or Radio, and you will notice the largest and most successful brands playing out commercials with famous celebrities endorsing their products. 

In a report by Nielsen, it was determined that adults above the age of 35, watch TV for an average of 28 hours and 24 minutes per week. Therefore cable TV is a good place to invest in, especially if the content which you are sponsoring is generating good Rating Points. (You can’t watch a live cricket match on Netflix, can you?) 


Image source

TV advertising is, therefore, a good way to rope in the adult age group audience, whose basic focus hasn’t shifted from traditional media sources. 

For brands looking to reach more hyper-local audiences, Radio is still a good fit. According to a FICCI Frames EY report, 7 out of 10 people in metros & (6 out of 10 in non-metro cities) listen to the radio while travelling.

 Radio networks are now providing educational and audience-centric content apart from the regular entertainment content, to amplify their image and Functionality.  Brands, looking to connect with local audiences can, therefore, choose radio advertising over internet mediums, any day. 

Understanding Transit advertising

In 2020, more people are ditching cars and adopting eco-friendly travel options like buses and subways, which makes transit advertising the right medium to consider. 

There are a plethora of options that come along with transit advertising. Apart from hoardings and billboards, it is the only media that is hard to ignore when you step out. Your brand message swiftly moves across the city, reaching local audiences, across various demographics and multiple locations. 

By advertising on buses, Metros, Cabs, autos, and Trams, you gain city-wide visibility.   Your brand outreach grows, and with repeated sightings by frequent travellers, the brand recall is greatly improved. Most forms of transit advertising are fairly affordable, allowing small scale brands to jump on the advertising bandwagon. 


Image source

You have the choice of ad size, locality, and the advantage of long shelf life. In cities rife with traffic, and daily travellers, transit advertising is an OOH medium that can reach out to the masses. 

For brands looking to grow awareness and footfalls, transit advertising is the channel to look out for. Apart from land modes, Airline advertising, in-flight ads, and advertising on cruise liners can be potential options too. 

Print media in 2020

It is a tough ground for print media and its collaterals to survive when faced with stiff online competition. For print media to truly do its job and survive in a digital-focused world, it has to evolve, and present rich content that people are interested in. 

Adding print media into your marketing mix, and making it work alongside your digital efforts can benefit your brand strategy.

In 2020, the digital advertising world is becoming crowded and noisy. Brands, both large and small are competing for your attention on the digital landscape. Having your advertisement on print media, therefore, establishes your authenticity and credibility, making you stand apart from the crowd.

printImage Source

Print media houses aren’t behind too. In the crusade to be alive and relevant, Newspapers, Magazines and Journals are focusing on building healthy relationships with their customers through the publication of engaging, helpful and relevant content. 

For advertisers, print media continues to be a dependable channel to spread out their message. Ads are not just a one-page feature anymore, but a continuation of their online counterparts. Bridging the gap between traditional and digital worlds, print Advertisers are putting Scannable QR codes, advertising their social media handles as well as presenting customers with coupon codes for online shopping. 

Brochures, in-house magazines, and direct mailing are helping many brands to reach out to their potential customers. Also, print is more trustworthy. According to a report by MarketingSherpa, 82% of people admitted to trusting print ads when it comes to making a purchase decision. 

Therefore, it is completely safe to say that, an investment in print advertising will lead to a positive ROI, in 2020, and beyond. 

Are Events a thing of the past?

Events and Tradeshows have been a critical part of many-a-brand’s marketing mixes. 

Showcasing your brand in front of an interested crowd will help create more awareness, bringing you interested clients, and also creating a credible image for your business. 

But are events really making the buzz in 2020?

Turns out, more than 41% of marketers believe that events are the single-most effective marketing channel over digital advertising, email marketing, and content marketing. The most successful brands are spending 1.7 times the average marketing budget on live events.

Needless to say, hosting a business event like brand promotion, product launch, networking, marketing activations, seminar/presentation, exhibitions, and conference, etc. costs big bucks to the organizing parties. 

In this case, how do companies drive a better ROI and profit from these kinds of events? Especially when a similar buzz can be created via online channels in the form of live videos, podcasts, webinars, etc?

The key lies in merging online and offline efforts. Monitoring attendee engagement and social media mentions of your event are critical to measuring your event’s success. 

To measure the direct ROI of your event, you need to know how many qualified leads you got and exactly how many customers signed up for your service or bought your product after attending the event. 


Image source

80% of event attendees said that live event demonstrations and free samples from an event significantly affect their buying decision and  98% of users feel more inclined to purchase after attending an activation. These statistics are more than promising for marketing managers and brand strategists to look into. 

Online advertising solutions:

For marketers that are chasing metrics and measurability on every penny that is spent on advertising, digital advertising is the way to go. Online advertising offers varied benefits and covers up the tracks of its traditional counterparts,  by being more open to small budgeted marketers.  

Traditional media like OOH, broadcast media etc. can only provide short term coverage, for as long as a campaign is alive and running. On the other hand, online modes of brand building, like SEO and social media advertising can provide long term exposure to target audiences. 


Image Source

Another benefit of choosing online over offline is its advanced targeting capabilities. With traditional media, targeting is limited to geographical demographics only. Ad spend becomes higher and ROI cannot be exactly predicted. Online advertising though is like aiming for the bull’s eye. You know exactly who your customer is.

With advancements in online advertising and the emergence of new internet marketing platforms, marketers often find themselves confused about which online channel to include in their marketing mix. 

A quick peek into the benefits and advancements of these channels will provide us with more insight, and help make a better decision when it comes to online advertising. 

Understanding PPC search campaigns  

Ever since its inception in the year 2000, PPC has been a winning strategy for internet marketers to get their ads in front of interested audiences. What’s more, you only pay, when you get an actual click-through, and not just when someone sees your ad. 

PPC has evolved a lot since then. A quick look at its timeline reveals that PPC ads went from just showing ads based on keywords to understanding customer journey and building shopping experiences worthy of repurchases. Also, the shift from PCs to mobile devices has affected modern-day PPC strategies. 

ppcImage Source

In 2020, PPC ads are focusing on integrating AI and machine learning to produce quick judgments and perform routine tasks faster than humans. PPC campaigns across various channels( social, web and e-com) are integrated for better audience targeting. 

With increased Privacy filters and restricted tracking, it is hard to tune into your ideal buyer. Also, PPC isn’t restricted to Google and Facebook anymore. Its time marketers looked into popular user hangouts such as Snapchat, Pinterest, and Tiktok. 

As we go further, PPC strategies are becoming more technical. Marketers are looking to optimize beyond the conversion.

The changing ways of Display advertising

Ad spends on display advertising has continued to grow in the past years. Although display advertising lies at the core of digital advertising, many E-commerce experts are of the opinion that it hasn’t been used to its full potential. 

If you’re looking to increase brand awareness for your products, then search advertising is your way to go. Display advertising works best for brands with a tangible product. Services like plumbers, doctors etc. need to be listed in search and PPC ads. 

Display ads are generally a part of retargeting. A customer looks for a product online, and once he’s moved to other websites or social media hangouts, he continues to see the ad for the product he initially looked for. Retargeting ensures sales, by creating repeated remembrance.

Display Advertising

Image Source

When it comes to Display advertising in 2020, the emergence of new regulations with regards to user privacy, have made it difficult for advertisers to target the right customers. Advertisers are thus moving to newer forms of native advertising and contextual ads to seem more relevant to a user.  

For example: If someone is reading an article about the best exercises to lose belly fat, he or she may encounter an ad for a nearby gym or ads for equipment. 

The key takeaway with this type of contextual advertising is that you are targeting a consumer by the type of content they are interested in. According to a report by EMarketer, native digital ad spend has increased year over year to represent nearly 65% of all digital display ad spend in 2020.

Video advertising continues to grow

In the world of video advertising, the competition is growing fierce day by day. Since 2016, small brands have also jumped on the video advertising bandwagon, by investing in and producing high-quality brand videos and ads. However, the big players in the market continue to rule, by spending more on video promotions. 

Online Video ad spend has grown, with average ad spend per internet user amounting to $8.5. Also, videos are shared 12X times more than links or content of other formats. 

The shift from TVs and PCs to more mobile devices has pressurised marketers to come up with better strategies for video marketing. Storytelling remains an integral part of making brand videos, with most brands focusing on their human aspect, to connect with audiences. 


Image source

With cramped up digital spaces, and saturated video platforms, how do you ensure that your video is viewed to completion and not skipped after the first 6 seconds?

The answer is In-feed videos

Most marketing videos are intrusive and annoying. Content recommendation engine Outbrain introduced Click to watch and Scroll to watch videos, which can be viewed by choice. 50% of these videos are viewed to completion. The target audience is much more qualified and engaged, with high attentiveness, better brand recognition, and higher chances of conversion. 

There is also a debate between many marketers regarding the average length of marketing videos. While most prefer shorter videos owing to user disinterest, long-form content actually generates more engagement and brings high-quality interested leads to the business. 

To conclude, marketers need to stand out from the crowd, to be seen. Experiment with different kinds of videos, from live feeds to 360° panoramas, and immersive VR videos, in order to attract eyeballs and audience attention. 

Why should you focus on Email Advertising?

Email Marketing continues to be a sought after digital channel for product and brand promotion. 59% of marketers cite that it is the channel that generates the maximum ROI, and therefore they continue to increase their Email Marketing budgets year on year. 

Some Marketers may argue that business and promotional emails are often hitting the spam folders. So why spend time and resources on sending out marketing emails in 2020? 

The stats will persuade you to think twice. 

61% of consumers claim that marketing emails influence their buying decision.

In 2020, time is the biggest constraint. Consumers are bombarded with sales emails from 50+ brands in a single day. Marketers need to be insanely critical in deciding the key aspects of a promotional mail, in order to be opened and read. 

Aim to provide something of value in your emails. It could be anything- information, help, discounts, or simply a cheerful holiday greeting.


Image Source

From hyper-personalization to social media integration there are a number of tactics that can help you drive sales through email. 

Start by creating insanely minimal designs. Most emails load slowly on browsers due to the amount of graphics and design content. Keeping a neutral colour palette with HQ images and less wordy content can help. Also, never forget to optimize your marketing emails for Mobile phones. 

Send a follow-up email to customers who abandoned the cart before checking out, and include an exclusive offer to help them complete the purchase. All emails should tell a story, more precisely, convey your brand’s story. And what better way to do that, than videos. Include a brand video in some of your marketing emails, to persuade the reader to take action. 

Lastly, never forget the goddamn CTA button. Make it stand out, bright and bold. You surely want that click through to your website.

Getting more customers from Social Media

Social media channels have been vital to the existence of the digital marketing strategies of brands. Reaching out consistently to your audiences is the key to increase brand loyalty over the years. 

When it comes to social media advertising, the emergence of newer platforms each year has left many advertisers confused on what to choose and what to ignore. 


Image Source

In 2020, Gen Z audiences have moved away from common advertising platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked to choose more pep and interesting social channels such as Snapchat, Instagram and the video app Tik Tok. It is important for brands to be where their prime consumers are. 

New and immersive platforms such as VR, augmented reality, shop pages on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook etc. have increased shopping capabilities on social media. Top Makeup brands like Kylie and Huda beauty came up with interactive Snapchat and Instagram filters to let users test out their products through specialised filters. This shows how far VR can go to increasing sales and brand loyalty. 

Video broadcasting platform Youtube came up with 6 second and 15-second non-skippable ad formats, giving advertisers the chance to grab more eyeballs, and increase remembrance.  

Facebook Messenger ads is the new-age email marketing. With personalised ad content delivered to your messenger inbox, it can drive campaign results at the lowest cost. Also, many brands are collaborating with niche-based influencers to generate more sales while building a favourable brand image. 

For B2B advertisers, Twitter and Linked continue to be the first choice to get more leads and sales.

Social media advertising can be tricky for new advertisers to figure out. You should know exactly which metrics to track. The best part about social media ads is that they are insanely targeted, and you can start even with a tight budget. The results with just a single campaign can surprise you. 

Advertising in 2020 and beyond

According to a report published by the Dentsu Group, the Indian advertising industry is expected to grow by 10.9%; and will reach ₹75,952 crores by the end of 2020. It is expected to grow at 11.83% CAGR to reach a market size of ₹1,33,921 crores by 2025. 

The confluence of offline and online channels will make this possible. With the preference of Genz audiences, leaning more towards digital media, it is important for marketers to pull up their socks and create informative media content for the next 500 million internet users. 

Social media, video streaming sites, music sites and E-sports channels will be excellent modes of advertising to connect with Genz audiences. Their evolving choices will continue to drive industry trends in the years to come. 


We hope this guide has improved your understanding of the current advertising industry scenario and helped you to determine a profitable mode of advertisement for your business. 

Let’s take the discussion forward, comment below on what you feel is a winning medium of advertisement in 2020. 

Need help with advertising solutions and making an informed choice? Wolftain can be your advertising partner and comrade, to build and execute effective advertising campaigns. Having served over 1000+ ads and worked with 25+ brands, we know that a successful campaign goes beyond ROI and awareness. Let us deliver you the metrics that matter. Connect with us today!

Copywriter at

A seasoned copywriter, content specialist and blogger, Shaista brings more than just writing expertise to the table. Having worked for industries such as Food, Fashion, jewellery, media and advertising, she is an all-rounder when it comes to writing and presenting articles, E-books, blogs and whitepapers and more.
When she’s not writing (or procrastinating about writing) she enjoys practicing the art of makeup and aims to be a professional MUA.