Continuing with the emphasis on mobile services and mobile services session after session on day two of the India Digital Summit held at the Capital were decoted to the issue. What makes a successful mobile marketing company in India? Experts from various fields mulled over this topic at great length.
There was an interesting session on short codes and the way industry needs to tackle these issues. Moderator of the session, Rajat Mukarji, Vice-President-Corporate Affairs, Idea, said, “We are seeing India having the lowest mobile tariffs in the world. The challenge is with the mobile providers and content aggregators. 80 per cent of the mobile sets have MMS facility, but a mere 2 per cent have successfully sent and received MMS. Another important point that needs to be addressed is customer privacy. Unsolicited calls are bugging. We are releasing the numbers in customer bases. Smart telemarketers harass everyone. How does one do mobile marketing in India? There needs to some boundaries set aside.”
OnMobile CEO, Arvind Rao, said, “The mobile channel has unique characteristics. Telecom base is 1.5 times the number of cable homes, which exist. There’s one to one interactivity. There’s effective call to action medium, a search software helps us to know which ring tone is coming from where. We did a study of putting news in mobiles. We noticed that there was time shift as 85 per cent of the people were reading news after 12 in the afternoon, there was peak hour in the evening.”
Sequoia Capital India Operating Officer, Mohit Bhatnagar, said, “We need to target all our end users. We need to do targeted advertising unlike radio and TV. We need to approach the user in right way and not force him to take a particular value added service. Another important factor is buying behaviour. We need to realise what the consumer is finally going to buy? As half of the people are driven by what there friends are referring to them.”
ACL Wireless President, Atanu Mandal, said, “In mobile marketing, the key elements are SMS alerts and voice. Short codes are being used for interactive SMS, voice. And video response is the key branding tool. Short codes are the key advertising tool. For campaign creation and management client server based support is given to advertisers. Another important factor is billing and exercise.”
Regarding challenges and opportunities, he said, “Spamming, data protection. Opportunities are opting in campaign; help us deal with credible advertisers. Short codes and suffix support is important. There needs to be reduction of prices for advertisers. There’s also need for rationalisation of prices and aggregation margins. There is a challenge of high cost decentralised for voice and video. There needs to be deployment, reconciliation and payment settlement. We need to improve on the billing system.”