Mobile advertising is set to get more inventive, interactive and personal this year.
The second generation of mobile advertising in India will wow users with never-seen-before services. From welcoming messages to an offer of test drive of the latest car in the market and pull-based m-coupons, the mobile will bring new meaning to customer-satisfaction, and add "stickiness" to brand value, say industry experts.
Currently, ads are relegated to SMS, m-coupons and flash messages. "Ad-on-demand, and messages such as welcoming a roaming mobile user into a new city with a short video of the top sights and things to do in that city, will soon be offered to the mobile user," said Mr Sankalp Saxena, CEO, Moveo Systems, a Bangalore-based developer of mobile applications.
The firm has modified the ads so that even a modest handset costing Rs 8,000 will be able to display it.
Textual ads will soon give way to image and video ads. Shortcodes, which are burdened by a high error rate (up to 33 per cent of shortcode messages are garbage), need no longer be remembered. With just a click on the image of a face of the celebrity, an SMS is automatically composed to the right shortcode, with the relevant text (Yes/ No) and will be ready to send.
You could also request additional information on products right from your handset, making the advertisement work for you. With the flexibility of the mobile platform, brands retain their equity and charm, said Mr Saxena.
"Advertising on the mobile will become non-intrusive soon," predicted Mr CVS Sharma, Head, Arc Worldwide, a Mumbai-based marketing services firm. One such example is snazzy ads replacing the wallpaper on your mobile. This would make your screen come alive. "The response to contextual targeting and search on the mobile is expected to be good," he added.
Depending on the user's location, the search could even dish out listed businesses in the same street - a useful service for the road warriors.
Pointcasting, adding a layer of relevance to the ad and offering the customer a more useful experience are top priorities for operators, mobile application developers and advertisers. Many advertisers are realising the advantage of the mobile medium, especially its language neutrality.
Will TV advertising lose points to this rising medium? Answers vary. "About five per cent of TV adspend will move to the mobile by FY08," said Mr Saxena