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Mobile marketing: Moving beyond SMS

15-October-2012
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Mobile marketing: Moving beyond SMS

Gone are the days when mobiles in India were considered to be aspirational and were used to just to make a call. Mobiles are very much a necessity today. With emerging rich consumption pattern, smartphone and featured phone users are increasing steadily. In addition to this, innumerable mobile applications and availability of internet on phones has resulted in consumers spending more time on mobile than before. The user now is smarter and is gradually moving beyond SMS.

Industry believes that there are three big new technologies that will add value to the existing mobile marketing solutions in India – location-based services, voice-based interactions and interactive applications.

Voice SMS has picked up in rural India but urban markets have not given it a warm welcome. Considering this factor, leveraging new features such as video emailing and voice-based interaction in marketing exercise is something that ad developers will soon focus on.

Though there is a lot of noise about mobile applications in India, education of usage of these applications to its optimum is something many application developers are looking at. Onward Mobility is a classic example of the same. It is the first offline application store in India and its services is like a FMCG model for the digital world. The company creates, distributes, and brings relevance to app users. With a massive mobile market in India, Onward has embarked upon an ambitious retail expansion plan across all the major cities and towns of India.

Location-based services have been talked about for quite a while and many industry giants are foraying in this field in the past few years. Google Latitude has the maximum recall as it has been a highly publicised service by Google that caters to the top end of the pyramid that are advanced users of VAS. High-end location technology (GPS) available on smartphones with data plans reaches out to niche subscribers who are actively using mobile internet. It enables them to find their location, points of interest, their friend’s location and share such updates between their community of friends. For example, a retail store might offer discounts to entice customers to let their friends know where they’re shopping and how good the store is.

The starting point of any internet access even on mobile is search. Google is one the leading search engine even in the mobile space. Innovation at this point of access is also something mobile ad-developers are looking forward to. With the emergence of 3G in India, mobile marketing will surely create a paradigm shift, giving these emerging technologies the best speed up.

The above report is based on a panel discussion that took place at the Mobile Marketing Conference held in Mumbai. Mahesh Narayanan, Country Head – Mobile, Google India; Purushottam Darshankar, Head – Mobility Solutions, Wipro Technologies; Zubin Dubash, Chief Strategy Officer, Onward Mobility; Aniketh Jain, Co-Founder and Director, Solutions Infini; and Alap Ghosh, Head Strategy and Publisher Development, Komli Mobile were the imminent speakers.

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