Source: Hindustan Times | View Print Article
New entrants are spicing up the mobile marketing space with their offers. By Amit Sharma
While mobile marketing in India is in its infancy, countries like Japan, the US and UK have more evolved form of marketing. There are more mobile marketing companies, consumer awareness is high and formats are more advanced. However, marketing through SMS is gathering pace in India.
The furious growth in subscriber base, coupled with low service fare and dropping handset prices have meant that advertisers can ill afford to say away from the medium. “It is a new market – only about $2 million at present; at the same time, it is very important to us. But we will operate on medium to high-end phones only,” says Anuj Kumar, founder and executive director Affle (South Asia). The UK-based mobile media company that operates in India, Malaysia, Singapore and USA counts companies like Aviva, Britannia and Coca Cola as partners.
“We launched SMS 2.0 mobile content service in July this year. It integrates messaging, content and advertising. We have focused on providing quality content to users and the response has been great,” he remarks. Affle had leveraged its partnership with Airtel to provide SMS 2.0 across Delhi and NCR. The company will soon be adding a search function to the service and will launch a 360-degree marketing campaign for its promotion.
Mobile marketing companies attract users by providing free mobile content such as wallpapers, screensavers and ring-tones. Besides, companies like Webaroo have group SMS services with brand messages bundled in. “Internet penetration in India is poor. The mobile, being a very personal medium, helps advertisers connect better. Our revenue model operates through context-sensitive textual advertisements at the footer of messages,” reveals Chirag Jain, vice president, Webaroo India.
The website provides the SMS Gupshup service. Launched in May this year, it enables users to communicate in groups via text messages. The character limit of each SMS is restricted to about 140 characters (from the regular 160 characters) to accommodate advertising messages. Webaroo claims to have 1.5 million subscribers to the SMS Gupshup and claims a two a three per cent daily growth. It also claims allegiance of leading brands.