With its high reach, mobile has become a medium of high specificity and sensitivity. Mobile advertising is still at a nascent stage and needs to experiment, become more transparent and more credible, and above must be very creative. These were some of the key points that emerged at the second Mobile Ad Conference presented by IAMAI, which was held in Mumbai on April 7, 2010.
The panel discussion on ‘Mobile advertising: The next big thing - capabilities and challenges’ had among its panelists Pradeep Shrivastava, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular; AR Vishwanath, Chairman, CEO and Founder, IMI Mobile; Sanjay Singh, Chief Technology Officer, One97; and Raj Singh, MD- India, 2ergo Group. The session was moderated by Shailesh Rao, MD, Google India.
Singh of One97 pointed out, “While you don’t have access to newspaper 24x7, we carry our mobiles wherever we go. I believe mobile is a medium with plenty of opportunities. So, the opportunity to reach audience at the right time and the right target group is also huge. This is a young medium and has to evolve and, therefore, has its own challenges.”
IMI Mobile’s Vishwanath explained, “Mobile is distinctly superior to any other existing mediums today. It is a medium with high sensitivity and specificity, wherein you can define a target with high specificity and through sensitivity get high response. However, the key constraint for mobile advertising today is to take off its contextuality. There is need for a proper technology rather than just pumping advertising which would differentiate online and mobile advertising.”
Shrivastava of Idea Cellular noted, “Mobile advertising allows you to target the right audience, it even allows one to reach audience through location specific targets. These are early days for mobile advertising through a lot of potential. We have to see how this medium will be made more attractive for advertising. As segmentation and interactivity grows in the industry, you will also see a lot of engagement in subscribers, which would perhaps even attract advertisers.”
Singh of 2ergo said, “There are a lot of people taking interest in this medium today, however simplicity and packaging of mobile is the key to attracting marketers. One of the reasons why mobile is very important is because it has high reach and is a medium that is most of the time with the consumers. With 3G networks launching it will give rich media lot more opportunities.”
Rao summarised by saying, “Mobile advertising is new, but has tremendous potential. It has large audience, and can effectively target the right audience or the type of audience you want to target.”
Overcoming the challenges
The session on ‘Overcoming the challenges of delivering successful creative mobile campaigns’ discussed the key challenges in developing a creative mobile campaign, besides how to convince brands to buy into the mobile medium with creative campaigns. The session also analysed techniques for delivering creative campaigns that engage users and deliver brand equality.
The panel members in this session included Gaurav Sarin, Head - Mobile Advertising and Business Solutions, Aircel Ltd; Sujai Srivastava, Business Head - VAS Marketing and Mobile Advertising, Reliance Communications; Jasmeet Gandhi, Head - Devices OPM and Services Marketing, Nokia India; and Apoorv Kumar, COO, Value First. The session was moderated by Abhijit Saxena, CEO, Netcore.
Sarin noted, “Mobile advertising in India is just going up and we have to mint this opportunity. But can we make this medium even more credible? We need to get active participation of brands and agencies and find out what they are seeking from this medium and we need to try and make this a credible media.”
Gandhi stated, “The talent in this medium needs to be stepped up so that we can use this medium and content it to the right audience and creatively. Mobile advertising is at a nascent stage but, people need to think creatively. It is very important for innovation or creativity in an eco system that is evolving.”
Kumar pointed out, “Creativity and delivery are both separate arts and ironically, no one does anything creative on mobile. In fact, creativity in mobile is at an all time low. I believe that planning and tracking are the two challenges for delivery on mobile and the two opportunities vacant and creating credibility. Brand is still an issue on mobile, in fact, mobile can be so creative that it is even beyond imagination and while mobile is a mass medium the problem, however is that it is not creative enough.”
Srivastava said, “Each media has challenges and influence of its own, the medium must have credibility, but credible means the measurement must be in place, making it more transparent and the medium must have high level of engagement.”
Saxena concluded, “The system needs to be transparent, there needs to be an effort to create 360 degree kind of approach in mobile advertising and try and add third party to the medium to build its credibility. Branding is certainly possible through this medium and creativity is the key to the success of mobile advertising.”