The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) on Tuesday, May 5, 2009, announced the launch of its India Local Council with an aim to encourage the growth of mobile marketing and allied technologies in the country. The Council also aims to bring together the entire mobile ecosystem, including carriers, application developers, brands, agencies and other influencers, to drive a range of programmes aimed at creating a professional and sustainable mobile marketing industry in India.
The India Local Council will be headed by two elected Co-Chairs, who will also be part of the MMA Regional Leadership Committee, the collaborating body across the Asia Pacific region. They will work closely with the Regional Board of Directors to determine strategy and priorities.
Currently, the MMA India Local Council membership includes representation from 34 leading organisations such as Admob, BDA Connect, Coca-Cola, Google, GroupM, Hungama, Indiagames, Microsoft, mKhoj, mobile2win, Nokia, Reuters, Vodafone, Tata Teleservices, Velti and Yahoo! India, among others.
Priorities for the India Local Council
According to Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, MMA Asia Pacific, in the next 6-10 months, the main priorities for the Council include “recommending adaptation for local market conditions where appropriate; evangelising and promotion of mobile as an important marketing medium for Indian brand managers and advertising agencies; educating and networking with telecom companies, brands, agencies, press and members; and building metrics and creating mobile marketing and advertising tools for the industry”.
One of the key areas of focus for the India Local Council that emerged during the launch was building a credible measurement metrics. exchange4media speaks to a few industry honchos to find out their views on having a measurement metrics for mobile marketing.
Rajiv Hiranandani, Co-founder and Global Head of Revenues, mobile2win, observed, “Yes, lack of a credible measurement system is a concern and what we want MMA to do is draw out a White Paper on the usage of mobile phones from publishers’ point of view and creating consumer awareness on the usage of this medium. It is very important for us that MMA is able to get in more brands to find the benefits of this medium and use this medium more frequently.”
He further said, “It’s a sheer inertia of getting brands comfortable with a medium that they may not really have and making them realise how this medium can help brands like no other mediums.”
Vishal Maheshwari, Senior Director, Yahoo! India Mobile, noted, “A credible measurement system in mobile space is an eco-system issue, nevertheless it is extremely important to get this metric system in place.”
A Nokia source explained, “This business will be built over the years and forums as such will play a key role in building a credible measurement system. I believe that once the mobile industry or even mobile as a medium is established, this medium will see a credible measurement system much like a TAM or RAM.”
“Ironically, it is only when an advertisement or a campaign does not work that one starts questioning this medium. In fact, mobile has a reach that no other medium can offer, and the advantages or benefits that come along are also innumerable,” he added.
While the mobile industry, according to industry estimates, is worth around Rs 2,000-3,000 crore, the mobile marketing industry is around Rs 250 crore. India is one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world, and with that brings immense mobile marketing opportunities for branded consumer companies. So, while brands may still hesitate to try this new medium, the mobile industry feels that if Internet as a medium may work for brands, then why can’t mobile, which has far greater reach and accountability. A credible measurement system can only add value to this medium and build more confidence in marketers and advertisers.