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India is still in a nascent stage of mobile advertising: KF Lai

21-March-2013
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India is still in a nascent stage of mobile advertising: KF Lai

Mobile advertising has not picked up in India as it should have. Industry experts credit this to low conversion rates on mobile and also initial ‘SMS marketing phobia’ in the minds of people to be the reason why they are reluctant. What is the future for such format of advertising and where is it headed to?

In this context, exchange4media spoke to Dr KF Lai, Founder, Buzz City, a mobile internet advertising player.

How do you rate India as a market in terms of internet mobile advertising?
India is still very nascent when it comes to share of advertising on the mobile platform (less than one per cent). Media consumption is higher on other platforms. Out of the total mobile users accessing internet, more than 70 per cent are accessing it through feature phones, while almost 10 per cent are accessing it through smartphones. Over a period of time, the gap will narrow and it (share of ad pie) will rise substantially. It is the responsibility of the industry to educate advertisers on the pros and cons of advertising on this platform. Here buyers include mobile advertising to be inclusive of digital platform which needs to be changed.

How relevant is Buzz City in today’s times?
The media consumption on mobile is moving ahead globally and we are establishing a platform of synchronisation and aggregation between advertisers and media publishers. Our relevance will become higher in times to come.

Considering the Indian audience and mindsets, how are you planning to strategise your presence and differentiate yourself in the clutter?
It is very essential for marketers to have access to quality and relevant audiences. On our part it becomes very important to vie on the fact that we have enough relevant audience through our publisher segmenation. We segment our publishers into different channels and every channel has districts. It could be mobile, portals, communities, news exchanges, etc.

We subcategorise categories, and then understand the audience of our publishers. In this way we provide a very clear insight to the marketers, on who they are reaching, targeting and segmenting their products to. They are classified further on OSes (operating systems), handsets, etc.

Our job therefore is to aggregate the users and make them accessible to the marketers through our publishers.

We make our advertiser’s demand meet our publishers supply. Even after this, the quality of audience is more important, i.e. how many clicks, action beyond clicks, differentiating user generated and genuine clicks, etc.

Market is very fragmented, what matters is right reach (homogeneity) to the audience in heterogeneous market. Apart from this we also offer very good positioning to our advertisers in terms of user access (Like making them avoid placing their ad icon next to the fire button in games people play on mobile).

How do you measure RoI?
We aggregate publishers and study the traffic post clicks. Although we sell clicks but post the clicks, we have a technique to study action beyond viz: whether user buys the product or not. In nutshell, we charge only on clicks but we also study the quality of clicks, user determination to buy, etc.

We, therefore, segregate low quality and auto-generated clicks. In addition to this, our server detects the user IP, kind of phone to provide extra details to the advertiser, thereby giving him only relevant audience. We are a mass product and cater to mass media and at the end of the day value and volume matter differentially. This ensures our RoI.

Who are you major competitors?
In the Indian market presently we have IMimobi and Vserve as our direct competitors.

Where does India fit into your priority?
It’s among top three markets we cater to and at times it is also number one. With the large size of the market coupled with growing mobile penetration, we are prioritising India like never before. In South Asia, India is our largest market.

Presently we have VAS (value added services) and leading sector advertisers as our prime advertisers. We wish to expand the domain. We, therefore, see ourselves as a platform which connects advertisers with the publishers and web portals, and ensure that we are able to provide quality result-oriented audiences to them.

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