Promising multimedia and creative solution offerings across all mobile platforms, Madhouse, China’s leading mobile marketing company, has launched its India operations from February 14 to capitalise on the ever increasing demand for customised mobile marketing solutions.
Madhouse works closely with over 120 clients like HP, Intel, Coke, KFC, Unilever, VW, and agency groups like GroupM, Aegis, OMG, VivaKi and their associated agencies. Unlike Ad Networks or mobile advertising solution businesses, Madhouse is entering India is the space of all-inclusive mobile marketing solutions, which will include a range of offerings, including media planning, buying, creative solutions, ad serving, and ad network.
Vinod Thadani, who was last with GroupM, will head the company’s operations in India as Chief Operating Officer. The company has entered India through its partnership with the WPP Group. However, Madhouse will be open to collaboration with other media and creative agencies too. When asked whether WPP would be an exclusive partner of Madhouse in India, Thadani clarified, “We would like to work in a collaborative manner with agencies in India, rather than working against each other. We will work for an ecosystem of mobile marketing solutions. We are planning to work across the board, be it ad network, technology provider or operator. We are also working across agencies.”
Explaining the nature of partnership of Madhouse with WPP Group in India, Thadani explained, “WPP is one of our partners. We plan to work across agency groups like our counterparts in China. WPP is one of the initial partners in India. We are open to every agency that wants to work with us and are looking for mobile solutions company.”
Madhouse India aims to leverage the opportunity of using mobile as a mass media device given that there are more than 850 million mobile connections in the country. According to Joshua Maa, CEO, Madhouse, the barriers to mobile marketing were scarcity of scaled solutions in data, voice and text, different operating systems with multiple stakeholders across mobile inventory and lack of established tools and systems, which made it difficult to answer the question of how this medium could be leveraged by advertisers to reach out to their consumers. “We are expecting the mobile advertising business of India to grow from Rs 125 crore to Rs 1,000 crore by 2015,” Maa added.
Partnerships in India
Madhouse India is in talks with some leading advertisers such as PepsiCo, HSBC, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications, Nike, Nokia, Sony Ericson, and Procter & Gamble. “There will be an attempt to partner with the Chinese partners (advertisers) of Madhouse in India too,” Vikram Sakhuja, CEO, GroupM, South Asia told exchange4media.
Growth of mobile advertising in India
India has over 850 million mobile users, of which 150 million are mobile Internet users. In China, this figure is much higher. There are over 960 million mobile users and 356 million mobile Internet users. Explaining the current scenario of mobile advertising, Ranjan Kapur, Country Manager, WPP, told exchange4media, “In India, mobile advertising has not gone beyond text advertising. Currently, mobile is not a part of regular media mix of advertisers in India, but the growth opportunities in India are huge. It will take at least four to five years for it to take off. The most important factor that will drive mobile advertising in India is massive usage of mobile devices. It has already happened in China despite all challenges and we will see the same happening in India. In a few years from now, mobile advertising will constitute one fourth of the total advertising revenue.”
The APAC region is the fastest growing region for mobile advertising. Last year, the APAC region registered 32 per cent growth in mobile advertising, leaving West Europe and North America behind, which saw growth of 22 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively. Mobile advertising in India is to the tune of Rs 125 crore. China is the second largest mobile advertising market in the APAC region after Indonesia.