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Mobile Marketing Summit 2008: Of challenges, opportunities and future trends

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Mobile Marketing Summit 2008: Of challenges, opportunities and future trends

With mobile phones being recognised as the ‘third screen’ after television and computers, the medium is emerging as a lucrative platform for advertisers and marketers. To put the spotlight on this medium, the third edition of Mobile Marketing Summit was held in Mumbai on October 15. Presented by The Economic Times, the Summit had experts discussing on the challenges facing the mobile industry and also give their views on how to leverage the promising media channel.

The concluding session focused on the future trends in mobile marketing. The panelists included Viren Popli, Senior Vice President and Head Mobile Entertainment - Star India; Rajeev Hiranandani, Co-Founder Revenues - Mobile2Win; Ajay Ranjan Mishra, Global Head of Business Development - Nokia Siemens Networks; Saleem Mobhani, COO, Hungama Mobile; and Karl Gomes, Executive Creative Director Digital - Arc World Wide/ Leo Burnett. The session was moderated by Jaideep Ghosh, Director - ICE Practices, KPMG Business Advisory Services.

Challenges and opportunities

Opening the session discussion, Jaideep Ghosh noted, “There are other industry sectors with impressive growth, but nothing like the growth of the mobile. The mobile spectrum already has the basic ingredients for growth.”

Citing some industry figures, Saleem Mobhani said, “The overall market size for mobile marketing is $10 million per year. The Internet took approximately 10 years to reach the 100-million mark, the mobile industry will take around 4-5 years to break all barriers and reach that mark. It is up to all of us to work together and work hard to reach the 100-million mark over the years. And it is definitely important to know one’s customers.”

Rajeev Hiranandani observed, “As far as opportunities are concerned, mobile advertising is going to be very critical for us with the subscription services, embedded advertising on mobiles, and WAP advertising, and it is here to stay. Mobile search, which is WAP-based, is also a huge opportunity. Along with opportunities, the challenges for mobile advertising are also huge – we need to evangelise WAP services. The challenge also lies in the infrastructure; revenue sharing is another major challenge before us. WAP advertising has several challenges and opportunities in the road ahead.”

Viren Popli remarked, “You need to start building on making your mobile Internet far better, and the very first step is to take our digital presence far more seriously than we ever did in the past. We have to start looking at mobiles as a great opportunity.”

According to Ajay Ranjan Mishra, “The next users will be come from the rural market, and the operator alone will not be able to strengthen that market. Mobile advertising will be a key market and will play a key role. As mobile penetration increases in the country, it will only add to the GDP growth rate as mobile increases the standard of living of the country.”

Upcoming trends in mobile advertising

Hiranandani observed, “Advertisements embedded into content is the evolving trend, also branded subscription product, ad-funded content, video advertisements, 3G are huge opportunities which would lead to video and mobile television. Mobile television will only be seen when 3G comes to India, which will also result in mobile television advertising.”

According to Popli, “There are several challenges that need to be overcome, one of them being to approach the market with an Indian thrust. The products and services should be relevant to the Indian consumers.”

Mishra observed, “It is not only mobile advertising, but also content and total cost of ownership, that would play a huge role in the years to come.”

Karl Gomes added here, “Integration is the need of the hour, all those specialised in the digital medium need to come together and work for the growth of mobile and mobile advertising. If we want our consumers to connect with the brand, then we must stop looking at them as mere consumers, instead we must start looking at them as human beings. This will allow us to know them better.”


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