With a projected 165 million mobile internet users in India by March 2015, and people utilising mobile for social media interactions and data consumption, the mobile is set to become the first device for users. But are marketers using this platform to reach their target consumers and is the mobile part of the marketing mix?
According to Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association, Asia Pacific, “Mobile advertising is yet to reach its full potential in India as well as in other parts of the world. Marketers are still trying to find the best way to exploit the highly-personal mobile medium, while respecting the rights of consumers and engaging with them in a way that consumers find appropriate.”
While majority of marketers are still to get the mobile platform, the early birds in this space such as telecom, handset manufacturers, BFSI, automobiles brands have now emerged as the biggest and strongest spenders on the mobile platform. For some verticals such as financial, the entire platform of delivery is present on the mobile, while opportunities are seen for travel, retail, fast food, sports and entertainment.
Phalgun Raju, Regional Director and General Manager, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, InMobi said, “We are definitely seeing growth across all verticals but sectors that have been quickest to adopt this are seeing a huge growth in adoption. By default the biggest advertisers on mobile are telecom companies and handset manufacturers.”
Dippak Khurana, Managing Director and CEO, Vserv.mobi explained, “Multiple campaigns have been done by BFSI and auto brands in this space because they fulfill a tangible need of the end consumer. Brands with high emotional quotient are typically slow to embrace a new medium; they are able to connect emotionally with consumers on TV but on mobile, they are figuring out how to do it and do it well. However, clients’ willingness to experiment on this platform is very high.”
No surprises then that for auto brands such as Volkswagen and Ford, mobile advertising is a priority. Lutz Kothe, Head of Marketing and PR, Volkswagen Passenger Cars said, “Volkswagen believes that the role of mobile advertising is as important as the conventional media of advertising. It’s a platform that not only provides immediate access to product information but also serves as an universe of fun and entertainment for every car enthusiast of all ages. And, it is by far the fastest growing channel in the media mix.”
Sriram Padmanabhan, Vice President – Marketing, Ford Motor Company said, “Our digital ad spends in 2012 were at 10 per cent – 12 per cent, up from four per cent – six per cent a couple of years ago. In the next two years, the mix of digital could potentially go up to 18 per cent – 20 per cent. Part of it is incremental, but part will replace our spends in traditional media. Within digital, mobile has moved from a minuscule two per cent – three per cent to almost 10 per cent – 15 per cent now in the last two to three years.”
Girish Nair, CEO, netCore Solutions added, “As people see more and more RoI in digital and mobile marketing, they are going to shift. No marketing manager will then not want to not spend on mobile marketing, because that’s where his consumer is going to be.” Kothe validated this point, “The mobile advertising space is less cluttered and the click- through rates are generally worthy. This medium is reasonably inexpensive as compared to that of traditional forms of advertising and delivers good RoI.”
With mobile advertising poised to be the next mass media, it is the ideal platform for marketers looking at reaching out to the large digital base in the country. The early adapters have managed to find their feet after testing and experimentation and this is something that the new entrants will also have to go through before the mobile revolution sets in.
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MOBILE AD MARKET IN INDIA
Mobile ad spends in 2012: Rs 180 cr – Rs 200 cr
Mobile ad spends likely to be at Rs 243 cr in 2013
Source: Pitch – Mindshare Digital Report 2012
TIME AND MONEY SPENT ON DEVICE
For a connected Indian with an average of nine hours of media consumption per day, mobile represents 44 per cent of total media time
31 per cent of mobile/smartphone users planned to spend much more money compared to 27 per cent tablet users and 19 per cent laptop/desktop users
Source: Role of the Connected Device in the Branding and Buying Cycle of a Consumer –Joint global study by Mobext, Havas Media with InMobi