Consumption behaviour of mobile services in India has become important from a marketer standpoint today. The big question is what the new device is, who the new consumer is and how the two integrate to allow new media to perform.
Piyush Mathur, President, Nielsen (India Region) believes that the last ten years belonged to the mobile phone industry and that the next decade too would be dominated by this industry. “This is the new mobile era where you have to share and learn,” he said.
With the number of smartphone users in India reaching almost 27 million, a clear conclusion is that the smartphone is the new device for the Indian consumer. “In a typical Indian household there is one television set and three mobile phones,” said Mathur. The obvious inference being that there is immense amount of exposure to content through the mobile screens.
Mathur stated that an average Indian consumer spends 2.5 hours on his/her smartphone every day. This is a healthy number in comparison to markets such as United States where the time spent is almost half. The driving force behind this is that in India, people have leapfrogged from using home internet directly to smartphones. And adding to this is the fact that the basic hygiene value of the phone is slowly being rendered irrelevant. Substantiating this is a figure which indicates that just a quarter of the total time spent on a phone is dedicated to voice and SMS.
“The new consumer has great control and is a lot more empowered,” stated Mathur. Carving demographics, he said that the earlier adopter of a smartphone is the young metro boy (below 24 years of age). Women, said Mathur, have been found to be a lot more engaged on social networking platforms, most of which enable chat. They spend almost four times the time spent on chat as against the male counterpart. “Among the males, young males are spending nearly 50 per cent more time on browsing and entertainment activities,” said Mathur thereby concluding two Ss drive this consumption behaviour – Smart and Social.
Following the aforementioned premise of ‘sharing and learning’, Mathur moved on to detailing the incredible traction that location-based mobile advertising is capable of. He illustrated this with the example of Red Laser, a US-based initiative, which allows users to scan the barcode of a product they want to potentially purchase and get details on price of the product in the nearest Walmart store.
Mathur expressed worry over the banner on a phone and its use as an advertising platform. “The two inch wide and half an inch tall banner does not provide an impact that the creative marketer is seeking. As per ‘Neurofocus’, the smaller you make the face of the consumer in an advertisement, the faster you make the consumer quit that ad,” said Mathur.
On YouTube, one has to watch an advertisement before watching a video and the option to skip the ad only appears after five seconds. “The real challenge for marketers here is to make the first five seconds content rich,” said Mathur. He said it is essential that all this content dissemination takes place in manner that it is naturally embedded into the user’s experience.
“It’s eventually all about smart boys and social girls,” concluded Mathur.
The above excerpts are taken from the presentation given by Mathur at the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Forum, organised in association with the exchange4media Group. It took place on September 21, 2012 at New Delhi.