How mobile has become the marketer’s resilient channel

Industry experts shared their insights on the growing adoption of mobile in business and how Covid-19 further accelerated the growth

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Dec 17, 2020 6:55 PM  | 6 min read
zee panel

The acceleration of mobile adoption has been upwards and onwards in these past few years and has been further amplified by the Covid lockdown. With this acceleration of mobile adoption, not only is the framework laid to build future-ready marketing assets, but the very definition of marketing and consumer engagement is also experiencing a revolution.

An esteemed panel of top industry leaders shared their insights on the topic -‘How Mobile has Become the Marketer’s Resilient Channel’ at the 3rd edition of e4m Screenage Mobile Marketing Virtual Conference. The panel discussed how to make mobile screens the strongest in a marketer’s arsenal.

On the panel were Anil Viswanathan, Senior Director, Marketing (Chocolates), Insights & Analytics, Mondelez India; Sujatha V Kumar, Head of Marketing, India & South Asia, Visa; Karthi Marshan, President & Chief Marketing Officer, Kotak Mahindra Group; Siddhant Narayan, Head Of Marketing, OnePlus; Pallavi Singh, Director Marketing, BMW India; Manish Kalra, Senior VP & Business Head, AVOD Zee5 and Gulrez Alam, Chief Investment & Strategy Officer, Affle as the Session Chair.

From having a single channel on TV to Digital and now mobile phones, we have come a long way. In 2020, India had nearly 700 million internet users across the country and out of that 700 million, 582 million are on mobile, observes Sujatha V Kumar, Head of Marketing, India & South Asia, Visa while adding that the reach on mobile is because of its efficiency. “We've seen growth like never before. And if you ask me what the reach and efficacy of mobile is, it's quite insane to see the growth. Today we have 700 million internet users in India and that's up from 300 million just five years ago, just look at the scale of the growth. Out of the 700 million, 582 million are on mobile. So, if you ask me if reach is there, then that's an absolute yes. And this reach is there because it's so efficient.”

“Fundamentally, the trick for communicating brand propositions on a new medium is to start with the consumer and try to understand what the consumer is doing on that medium,” explains Anil Viswanathan, Senior Director, Marketing (Chocolates), Insights & Analytics, Mondelez India while also adding that the moment one realise that the nature of storytelling has to change, it is something that clicks. “When you start looking at insights of what the consumer is doing in the medium, then you start finding out ways in which you can build your brand differently from the classical ways of storytelling. So I think that's where the penny drops and it's not difficult, it's just that the nature of building brands changes. It’s no longer about storytelling but it's possibly about a two-way engagement, where you are able to personalise and be open to receiving feedback.”

Videos are a great available medium to target users with a brand campaign, says Manish Kalra, Senior VP & Business Head, AVOD Zee5. “I agree that there is no other medium in the country which gives this kind of targeting, you can target me by my geography, device types, interest, age group and anything and everything that defines me as an individual, you can find my behaviour online. So if you want to target me with a brand campaign, videos are a great available medium.”

With mobile marketing one can reach the masses at a far lower cost as compared to mass media advertising, notes Kumar while explaining what makes mobile marketing cost effective. “Mobile is also very cost effective; you reach a huge number of people, but at far less the cost that it would be for mass media advertising. For brands like ours, it is really important that you get very effective targeting, so we can actually leverage that data to do location based activity, proximity targeting and actually personalise the content. Interactive advertising based on what you're doing at that time and where you are and what offers can be relevant to you. So there’s very high reach and high efficiency.”

Kotak Mahindra Bank has rolled out an advertising campaign for its mobile account opening service during the initial phase of lockdown. The campaign featuring actor Ranveer Singh was completely shot on mobile phone.

“I think creativity is best generated when there are guardrails with constraints, the more you squeeze, the more creative people are required to get. And I would say that the constraints placed by the small screen actually have taken time,” explains Karthi Marshan, President & Chief Marketing Officer, Kotak Mahindra Group. “Of course, we want to take time to learn the medium. But if I could illustrate with a plug for my brand. Early this year, during Covid, we had the opportunity not just to shoot but shoot on mobile, because our model Ranveer Singh was sitting at home, our director and creative director were sitting at their homes and so were we, but we shot for a product and a service of the bank, which is delivered completely by the mobile, that’s the account opening experience.”

Mobile covers all the 4Ps of marketing, he further notes while adding that brand is the brand experience, “When we were growing up, the 4Ps were all over the place. But today, every single P is in that device. It's not just about advertising, the brand is the brand experience and the brand experience now largely for most of us, is on the device. So the opportunity to have the mobile integrated with every single thing you do is enormous today.”

With the growing digital transformation, the marketing domain has changed dramatically. Today, when consumers want everything at a click, mobile marketing has further accelerated the pace of marketers, resulting in enormous growth.

Highlighting that mobile marketing is all about transparency, especially in the luxury segment, Pallavi Singh, Director Marketing, BMW India shares, “Most times, it's about the customers and they are truly our brand ambassadors. So they expect much more than what we can sometimes deliver. But that's been the whole journey since Covid. For us, the most important thing is how do you join all the businesses, not just marketing, marketing is a function to support the end goal of sales, how do we bring everybody together in an organisation to understand what this little device can do for us.”


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