As per a recent report by global mobile advertising firm BuzzCity, India is the leading country in the world when it comes to the number of mobile advertisements served. exchange4media caught up with Delynn Ho, Vice President, Sales, BuzzCity, and Manish Mishra, the firm’s Country Manager, to discuss the mobile advertising market in India and the network’s plans.
Commenting on the global advertising market, Delynn Ho said, “The global mobile advertising market is growing at very fast rate. Currently, India is a $25 million market for mobile advertising. But the global mobile marketing industry is expected to grow to $60-80 billion by 2014. At that stage, the number of mobile Internet users is expected to be 4.5 billion globally with 250 million users in India.”
India is followed by Indonesia ($1.16 billion) and the US in the number of ad impression served by the network between the fourth quarter for 2010 and first quarter for 2011. The BuzzCity report reveals that from January 2011 to May 2011, the network served around 2.4 billion advertisements in India, the highest number of advertisements served on the BuzzCity Ad Network. There is a continued growth in user activity, which was matched with advertisers’ interest. This resulted in an increase of 44 per cent banners served between the last quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011.
With the ICC World Cup and IPL increasing user interest in March 2011 to May 2011, user activity was centered on cricket and 50 percent of game download in India were related to cricket. Taking advantage of it, the advertisers and developers launched cricket-themed application, games and marketing campaigns.
The major sectors which engaged with the medium include FMCG brands such as Parle and HUL, and Auto brands such as Volkswagen. Ho said, “We are also starting to observe a greater investment in mobile from brands outside the mobile content sector, most notably among operators.”
The company attributes the driving factor for the high numbers in India to the high mobile penetration and the low PC (personal computer) penetration in the country. Ho said, “Countries, such as Singapore, have a smaller market for mobile advertisements in India, as the PC penetration in these places, is quite high. Every household has two PCs, and so internet is easily accessible on them. So, our biggest markets are the countries where PC penetration is low.”
Further, she points out that the Indian mobile users are quite receptive to the advertisements while surfing the net on mobile phones or playing games.
The network has a target audience of mostly 20-35 years of age, which is mostly blue and white collar in India. To stay ahead as a mobile media company in a competitive market, BuzzCity, works with publishers to develop their properties with quality content. Ho said, “Our content syndication programme integrates selected content into publisher portals, thereby enriching your mobile offer, growing site presence and building brand interaction.”
But with a high mobile penetration, why does mobile advertising not figure in the digital marketing campaign as significantly? Ho said, “Around 70 per cent of the respondents in India realise the value of mobile advertising. This shows that the consumers are ready and perceive the benefits it can bring. It’s time for advertisers to take up this opportunity. Consequently, Asia has emerged at the biggest continent which have the maximum impact on mobile ad across the globe.”
“TV and Digital are expensive mediums of marketing as compared to mobile. But as the advertisers are not familiar with the medium, there is still a hesitancy about the effectiveness of the medium,” she added.
It is important to create awareness about the medium. “Our advertising network generates a lot of data from consumer activity and we share these insights with our partners and media. Apart from this we also have our unique Campaign Planner tool on our website which contains an overview of inventory such as audience reach and number of ads served per country. This tool helps agencies to better plan their mobile campaigns,” said Manish Mishra, Country Manager.
The introduction of 3G in India recently, can boost the mobile advertising sales for the market, believes Ho and also attract the advertiser’s attention to the medium as it would allow faster and cheaper access to a lot more information on-the-go. Though Mishra points out that the reach of 3G is still limited.
Discussing future trends to watch out for, Mishra believes ‘m-commerce’ will play an important part in the mobile advertising industry. “With big players such as E-bay looking to extend their arena into mobile, what is required for the future is a safe and effective payment mechanism for mobile,” he said.
On being asked about the company's growth targets for the financial year, Ho said, “The number of ads served on our entire ad network has grown phenomenally by 290% from last year (comparing Q1 2010 to Q1 2011). We definitely expect similar or higher growth for this year.”