When mKhoj, a mobile advertising platform, launched a mobile campaign for Reebok, little could it dream of 40 million targeted impressions, in just over six weeks, of the ad. But it did precisely that.
About 4,50,000 users interacted with Reebok and close to 40 per cent downloaded its mobile content while 15 per cent viewed the featured videos.
• Pizza Hut campaign included SMS, SMS contextual advertising, WAP advertising and a customised WAP site powered by Mobile2win
• A Bluetooth interactive media marketing campaign is being run by Coca-Cola as part of its sponsorship of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing powered by Pioco
• To publicise the launch of its new ‘Team Signature’ line of shoes, Adidas ran an integrated campaign which included TV, in-store, print, online and mobile components. The first part of the mobile component was text link ads — up to 5 million per week — run by AdMob1
“This was the closest brand engagement the company could ask for with its consumers on a digital platform,” explains Navin Tewari, CEO, mKhoj.
He is not alone. Brands like Lenovo, ICICI, Honda, Smirnoff, United Colours of Benetton, among others, too, have made successful brand connections with mKhoj’s mobile advertising platform.
Nitish Mittersain, CEO and promoter of Nazara Technologies, is already making 5 per cent of his revenues from mobile marketing solutions for Indian brands. “We managed revenues of around $5 million last year; we aim to double the figure this year and grow mobile marketing revenues to 15 per cent,” he says.
The estimated mobile advertising revenues, at present pegged around Rs 50 crore, could, therefore, very comfortably reach Rs 500 crore by 2011.
The growth in this segment will be fuelled predominantly by the rollout of 3G networks, IPTV and high-end gaming on mobile phones, indicates a Pricewaterhouse Cooper report. Madhusudan Gupta, senior research analyst, Gartner, notes, “In the next two years, we expect more wireless operators to adopt mobile advertising, especially as a medium to reach a younger demographic.”
The Mobile Advertising Report (MAR) credits India with the highest percentage of users who receive advertising messages over their mobile phones. According to MAR data, close to 85 per cent users in India regularly get mobile adverts as against 51 per cent in the UK and 37 per cent in the US.
According to the report, mobile internet users are 60 per cent more likely to be open to mobile advertising than the average mobile data user.
Asif Ali, co-founder of Mobile Worx, a mobile products and solution provider, adds, “It has become increasingly difficult to talk about the internet, media or marketing, without the conversation quickly turning to mobile phones. Advertisers keep coming back and with larger orders.”
On an average, mobile advertisement campaigns range between Rs 42,000 and Rs 420,000.
Tewari says advertisers are flocking to mobile due to the high reach and high click-through rates the medium can provide. His company claims to have 50 per cent of repeat clients who want bigger advisement campaigns on mobile platform.
As mobile phone subscribers leap over the 260 million mark in India, mobile advertising has clearly become a common element for the 50 million mobile internet users. For Mittersain of Nazara targeted mobile ad campaigns, either text message based or on WAP sites, deliver best value for money.
“Most mobile ad campaigns receive 5-6 per cent average click-through rate. But really, that’s no surprise, when you consider the market.”
Mobile is like the debut of the internet all over again. “You have messaging, text messaging, mobile web and video. There are as many ways to advertise to a mobile consumer as there are to a consumer on the PC-based web,” says Ali. Regardless of what kind of ad campaign an advertiser is running, mobile can contribute a role to that ad campaign.
Considering a mobile device has a limited amount of real estate and one has to present information and content as quickly and as simply as possible, “SMS alerts will continue to grow in popularity but WAP-based campaigns are growing faster,” predicts Mittersain.
By the end of 2008, there would be big shifts from the $110 billion spent on TV advertising to mobile and social networks and an eMarketer research predicts that $16 billion would be spent on mobile advertising globally by 2011, a thousand per cent increase from today.
Mobile operators including Airtel and Vodafone have been the most active promoters of mobile advertising, creating a flutter among advertisers & brands. Brands have begun to notice the growing numbers and, more importantly, the element of interactivity that mobile can deliver.