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Anurag Banerjee

Head of Sales & Managing Director APAC | 12 Jul 2013

The challenge in the mobile marketing space is in the framework and not the technology that we have in a market like India. The way brand conversations are initiated also needs to be looked at very carefully. Brands can earn content rather than pushing content through existing consumer communities. Mobile marketing is all set to hit the right chord, it’s just that brands and also mobile marketing experts need to take wise strategy decisions.

Anurag Banerjee leads sales and serves as Managing Director of the Asia-Pacific region for Jana. He has spent nine years at American Express, managing specialised sales teams and large channels of 800-plus people.

Jana is a global provider of mobile-based market research that is revolutionising the way brands engage their audiences. The company has provided its market research techniques to a variety of global brands, including Microsoft, Danone, Unilever and Ponds, as well as broadcast news agencies CNN and Al Jazeera. Jana has partnerships with 237 mobile phone carriers in 101 countries.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Nair, Banerjee speaks at length about the opportunities and challenges of mobile marketing, how mobile marketing is changing purchase behaviour, power of big data and more...

Q. Digital experts believe that 2013 will be the year when mobile marketing will come into its own in India. What are your observations on this?

It is very important for brands to understand how they want to look at the medium. It can be observed that mobile marketing still work in silos. In mobile marketing, it is essential that brands look at having a complete conversation. What is happening in many markets is that brands are trying to push the same communication used in its television media plan on mobile.

Using SMS spamming and display spamming are the other ways in which brands are reaching out to consumers. Mobile is a personal device and no one would want to get information that is intruding and irritating. Brands have to think through well on the methodologies that they will be using in their mobile strategy. Push methodology is definitely not the right one.

The challenge in the mobile marketing space is in the framework and not the technology that we have in a market like India. The way brand conversations are initiated also needs to be looked at very carefully. Brands can earn content rather than pushing content through existing consumer communities. Mobile marketing is all set to hit the right chord, it’s just that brands and also mobile marketing experts need to take wise strategy decisions. Once that is done, mobile can change the business of brands.

Q. What are brands doing right and wrong when it comes to mobile marketing?

Brands today have a tough job to crack given the way media is evolving today, especially the rapid speed at which digital media is developing. The last time such a sea change happened was around 65 years ago, when television entered the communication business. Brands are trying really hard to understand the way the mobile marketing is shaping up. Brands are still confused about the metrics system of the mobile space. Many of them are still looking at reach and CPM as factors of measurement. Brands have to start taking risks by experimenting more and having more trust in the medium. Brands have to start thinking of strategies more from a conversation point of view. Micro marketing is what brands should look at while using mobile. I think, fundamentally philosophical change has to happen for mobile marketing to set in aggression.

Q. What can India learn from global mobile marketing practices?

There are a few things that India must pick from the West, where a lot of work has been done around personalisation. Technology is used more intelligently there and the power of data and content is well understood. Indian brands and mobile marketing experts need to adopt data and content to the optimum. Understanding the relevance of these elements is important, and I can already see a few Indian brands getting serious about this.

Q. Do you think brands have still not used various mobile features in their marketing plans?

The primary role of mobile marketing is to focus on consumer engagement and education. Many brands haven’t realised that it can be an excellent delivery point for communicating various offerings. Brands have to understand that mobile is used the most during ‘dead’ time. More than features brands need to give content that is useful while using mobile. It will be interesting to see how brands look at closing the loop of purchase in the coming days.

Q. What are the trends that will impact consumers’ purchase decision in the days to come?

If brands begin to create conversations that give consumers information that is educative and relevant, half the battle is won. Brands have already understood the importance of this and are expected to soon come up with contextual promotional strategies in the mobile marketing space. Brands will also begin to target consumers at the right time. All these will change a consumer’s purchase decision at some point.

Q. Do brands understand the power of big data?

Big data has super powers; what brands should look at doing is understand the motive behind using big data. Brands have to stream down the different variables on the basis of which it can determine relevant data. Big data is fascinating. With the arrival of big data, the emergence of micro marketing has also arrived. Soon, it will be all about micro marketing, and big data will bring to the table insights that can change the game of mobile marketing as well.

Q. What are the areas that Jana will be focusing on in the coming months?

We would like to focus on getting more complex projects. We are looking at growth by scaling up projects that involve delivering great consumer experiences and creating data that is relevant to brands.

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