We aimed to create the perfect marriage of tech and content: Nitin Mathur, 91mobiles

Nitin Mathur, Co-founder, 91mobiles, spoke about the company's journey, how their strategies helped smartphones advertisers optimally plan their marketing budget, their focus and more

e4m by Anjali Thakur
Published: Apr 8, 2019 8:56 AM  | 5 min read
Nitin Mathur

91mobiles, a media tech company has become a go-to platform for providing path-breaking advertising solutions to some of the top-notch brands in the business. This new age digital platform offers a wide variety of unique ad formats which are useful for advertisers to optimize on their ad spends. Nitin Mathur co-founded 91mobiles with Bharanidharan Vishwanathan in 2012 and together they built the brand that it is today. We spoke to Mathur about their journey, how their strategies are helping smartphones advertisers optimally plan their marketing budget around the year, their focus and more.


91mobiles has become a go-to platform for providing path-breaking advertising solutions to some of the top-notch brands. Can you take us through your journey?

We started 91mobiles in 2012, much before e-commerce became mainstream. The idea was to help people find the gadgets that best suit their need. There were a number of e-commerce sites coming up, and there were a number of legacy gadget sites, but we felt that no one was doing a great job of making the ‘what to buy’ decision easier for people.

We tried to create the perfect marriage of tech and content to be able to solve this problem on 91mobiles.com. In the past few years, we have grown to be the largest gadget discovery site in India, with over 25 million visits and 100 million page views every month. We also have the largest YouTube channel from a gadget site in India with more than 700,000 subscribers.

How are your innovative strategies helping smartphones advertisers to optimally plan their marketing budget around the year?

We try to bring not just creativity but also science to the marketing solutions we offer to smartphone brands. We work with brands to help build mass awareness for their latest product launch. However, in any given month, there are 10-12 million smartphones sold. Hence, while several hundred million people can buy a phone, at any given time, only 10-12 mn people are actually looking to buy. Given the vast audience data we have, we are able to help brands identify and target their marketing to the most relevant audiences. Bringing this science to marketing helps significantly improve marketing efficiency & outcomes.

You have come up with a unique format for marketers i.e. countdown timer, roadblock banners, news ticker, search and compare integration, etc. Can you throw some light on that?

Over the last few years, we have seen that pre-launch buzz around a product is one of the largest determinants of the success of a new smartphone launch. Hence, some of our ad formats help advertisers heighten the pre-launch anticipation. The launch countdown timer shows the days/hours/minutes left for the new launch and gives users’ the option to receive updates the moment the device is out.

A new ticker announces the impending launch of a device, and unlike on TV, on our site, it expands to give more information about the product.

After a product is live, brands would want their device to feature in the consideration set of an increasing number of buyers. Our search and compare integrations are native ad formats that can help brands achieve that objective:

  • Through our search or phone-finder integration, brands can show its device as the first product in all relevant user searches. Hence, it becomes one of the first to be discovered by current buyers.
  • With compare integration, whenever someone is comparing two phones side-by-side, an advertiser can choose to insert their phone in the third comparison slot, to highlight the spec-to-spec superiority of their device vs the others.

You have done multiple campaigns in the past, are you planning any innovative campaigns this time around?

Yes, we are. With smartphone camera capabilities becoming an intense battleground, we are often asked by brands to help establish the superiority of their phone’s camera. Our resident experts would typically test the phone’s camera under various conditions and give their verdict on whether it is the best in a given price segment. We came up with this idea of showing a bunch of images taken from different devices to smartphone users and getting them to vote for the best images – a blind camera comparison of images taken from competing devices.

Another innovation that we are planning is around helping brands revisit how they approach building a micro-site around new device launches. Such micro-sites would typically show promotional brand content with little insights for users on how the brand’s devices compare against key competitors. We thought what if we could flip the approach and focus on showing device-led content where we compare the brand’s new/select devices against key competitors in specs, usability, price, etc.

To show that a brand’s devices are indeed superior, we will integrate expert recommendations strategically in the site. We piloted this at a small scale with Realme and got over 1 million site visits in just 10 days. We are now in talks with a few brands to execute this campaign at a much larger scale.

Tell us about your business and marketing strategy? What will be the focus?

1 million daily site visits – that’s a milestone we hope to cross very soon, followed by 1 million subscribers on YouTube. We will continue to innovate to make the buying journey easier for anybody who wants to buy a phone or a gadget. For advertisers, we are building an audience data platform called 91mobiles SSA – Smartphone Shopper Audience. Marketers would be able to use this platform to identify and segment the audience that is currently looking to buy a phone in the same segment as their phone.

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