Mobile Advertising gets a 3G Boost

Source : My Mobile | View Original

“Gets a 3G Boost”

Mobile advertising in India was limited to text-based marketing that was being termed spam and irrelevant. However, things are expected to change and evolve with the introduction of 3G. We cast a glance at what mobile advertising could be in the 3G era

India has always been a very diverse market with needs and aspirations of people varying from one district to another. It is a retailer’s dream and nightmare too.
One has to ensure that one’s product/service caters to a greater mass and not just to separate individuals, and then one has to market their offerings in a manner that people from different sections with varied aspirational levels and needs can relate to them. Mobile advertising helps them achieve the second in a more targeted manner at lesser cost.

The story so far
The global mobile marketing industry is expected to grow to $24 billion by 2013, and the Asia-Pacific region will provide a conducive eco-system to fuel this growth. According to InMobi, mobile advertising is growing strongly in India. As of Q2 2011, India registers 4 out of every 10 ad impressions in APAC. India saw more than 9 billion ad impressions in July 2011 that compares very favourably with 43.7 billion ad impressions globally.
Affle, a mobile advertising company, has pegged the mobile marketing market today to be around Rs. 100-150 crores and further claims that it is growing at over 75 per cent annually. However, the fact is that mobile advertising in India has predominantly been based text based marketing, which has its own challenges. The first is the language barrier. The mobile was seen as the medium that would help the brands to connect with even the people who reside at the bottom of the pyramid and most of the people in this bracket are either illiterate or have little knowledge of English language. Also most of the text-based efforts are so clichéd that consumers who are literate treat them like spam messages. A lot of consumers who were irritated with these ads of slim sauna belts to buying lucrative property have even registered themselves with the National Do Not Disturb Registry (DND), effectively cutting off many mobile marketers. However, the arrival of 3G is expected to improve matters.

Riding on the data wave
It has nearly been a year since 3G has been introduced in the country. The uptake for the same has been very selective so far but 3G is one of the turning points for adoption of non-voice services in India. With the availability of 3G infrastructure, consumers have finally started to experience the true media potential of the mobile device. “With increased media/content consumption come opportunities for creating blended content and advertising experiences.
This would thus open up several new opportunities for mobile advertising. This has already started to happen and we expect huge growth in it going forward,” explains Anuj Kumar, CEO, Affle. A further impetus will be provided in this segment, as with the introduction of more affordable smartphones and alluring tablets, it is expected that there could be a significant uptake for 3G services in the coming months.
One of the reasons for the mobile advertising to have become more acceptable in today’s time is because it has evolved significantly in terms of creatives. Bikash Chowdhury, director of marketing, InMobi, explains, “Today, rich media ads allow consumers to interact with the ad in a non-intrusive manner. For example, users can tap to watch a video, get a 360 degrees view of a product, locate a store, call a dealer and return gracefully to the content”. Higher internet speeds also make the user experience better, and at the same time rich media technology has evolved to an extent where immersive user experience is possible with lower data speeds.

A sense of place
It is not just the rich media based advertising that is alluring the media planners and marketers. They are also looking very seriously at location-based advertising. “Contextual and geo-targeted ads are being sent out by the brands and there is surely an uptake in regards to these messages,” says Debadutta Upadhyaya, VP India, Vdopia. This form of advertising can help in two ways. For example, if you are a frequent visitor in the Connaught Place area in New Delhi and have a favourite coffee joint, when that joint sees that you are in the area, it can send you a special offer, which is valid for that day only or there could be a competing chain that can send an offer to lure you to try their coffee instead. The third could be a grocery shop in that location telling you about the current schemes and offers and suggesting that while you are in this area why don’t you make some grocery purchases as well. The latter is more at getting the consumer to make an impulse purchase while they are at a specific location, which is not very far away from the advertiser, who is luring them with some more benefits.

The ad road ahead
Upadhyaya of Vdopia agrees that there are now a far greater number of brands that are keen to get on the mobile advertising bandwagon and try out something more unique for their messages. The idea is not just to have another component in communication or to complete their 360 degree communication mix but to have something which on its own can help the marketers in building the brand, help in building the recall value for a brand or help in attracting more customers. In short, the coming times could be very interesting from a mobile advertising point of view and one can look forward to more creative and targeted mobile ads.