Mobile marketing or the practice of using mobile devices (cellular phones, Tablets etc.) as a marketing medium has been experiencing tremendous growth in the last few years globally. Mobile is emerging as one of the most effective channel of communication because of the high level of engagement with users. They use it for keeping connected –as a phone and social networking, for searching, payment transactions, for news, for music and movie downloads, for sharing jokes, photos and any other updates. As people carry their phones with them all the time, transactions and payments can be completed anywhere and anytime. Most importantly, being the first personal mass media, mobile could make it easy for the marketers and advertisers to target specific consumer segments based on age, gender and location. Current Status in India:
Having said that, in India mobile is not yet on the mindset for most advertisers and industry leaders including brands and agencies. As per a report published by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), the estimated size of the current mobile advertising spend in India is a meager INR 180 Crore ($33 million) which is just 10% of the overall digital advertising spend in India. As a result the growth in advertising revenue is not keeping pace with mobile internet penetration in India. In India, the Cable & Satellite penetration is 140 Million, DTH & Digital Cable combined penetration is 59 Million and Internet penetration is 137 Million. But there are 934 Million mobile users in India (which is 78% of the total population) of which the mobile internet penetration is 120 Million. Mobile could be the youngest medium but in reach it’s far above the traditional mediums like Television, Print and also Internet, the most talked about medium. Even the penetration of mobile internet is at par with television and internet. But very surprisingly, still the advertisers are considering mobile only as a support medium and devoting only an experimental budget. What we think is that the advertisers are hesitating to spend more on mobile ads and campaigns as they are facing difficulties to figure the effectiveness of the same. In our understanding there are few unanswered questions that are restricting Indian advertisers to allocate more money on mobile medium. 1. Initial apprehension towards new medium: Any new media face the same challenge to justify its efficacy in the initial stage over the existing mediums. In India, mobile is going through the same phase. Though the penetration of mobile phone is increasing but how powerful this tool is for marketing communication is not yet very clear. 2. How to use it effectively: The industry is still indecisive about the ways to effectively explore this medium. "Advertisers are trying to navigate the growth of mobile and are still trying to figure out how to exploit this," said Praveen Sharma, head of product and solution sales at Google India. Only a few years back, Roadblock(ads through text messages)was the only way of mobile advertising but it lacked innovation and also was intrusive for the consumers and was proven ineffective to create impact. Lot of R&D is going on since then to use the mobile medium innovatively and effectively but the assured and verified ways are yet to be discovered. The marketers are not yet sure what can be done with mobile advertising beyond SMS and basic standard banner. 3. What is the return on monies spent: Unlike other mediums, there are no analytical tools for measuring and benchmarking the efficacy of mobile campaigns and ads. Lack of clarity is still there on how many clicks a mobile ad is generating and how many transactions are happening in this process. As a result lots of ambiguity is there in understanding the ROI which is the biggest barrier for mobile medium to gain the confidence of the marketers. How can we make Mobile a preferred advertising medium in near future? Despite the challenges that this new medium...
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