With the growth of Indian mobile market, the mobile internet advertising segment has also seen a significant augmentation. With an increase in the number of feature phone and smartphone users, there is an upsurge in the mobile internet usage by the consumers, especially from the Tier II & Tier III towns. With mobile devices being a primary digital access point for many consumers, the marketers now have a range of opportunities, particularly when it comes to reaching consumers who are traditionally difficult to reach.
India by the Numbers
• 130 million: that's the current estimate of mobile internet users in India
• 250 million: expected number of Indian mobile internet users by 2015
• 30% : ad inventory growth on the BuzzCity Network in India over the past year
• 861 million: total number of mobile phones in India (second highest in the world, behind China)
• 10% : the percentage of Indian mobile users who now have smartphones
It is expected that there will be more smartphones than humans around the world, and with consumers becoming constantly connected via mobile it has a great offering for marketers.
The following graph shows the rise in the number of ad impressions served, comparing India with Indonesia and the US:
As any effective marketer knows, it is vital to reassess your brand’s target audience on a regular basis to ensure you’re moving in step with the people you want to engage with. With the media landscape constantly the behaviour and attitude of mobile consumers should also be constantly reviewed.
It's important to note as well that the mobile internet is enabling marketers to reach two sets of consumers who can be difficult to engage. The first group consists of people who cannot read. Despite the country's economic advances, one in four Indians is still illiterate. A number of advertisers - particularly Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies like Hindustan Unilever - are using IVR, Interactive Voice Response, so that these consumers can hear ads over their phones. The company sends a SMS with a phone number. If the consumer clicks the number and listens to the ad, s/he receives a phone top up worth a couple rupees.
Mobile phones are also helping advertisers reach consumers in areas with frequent power outages. These brownouts actually affect all parts of the country, but they tend to be worst in the tier-three cities and rural areas, where it's not uncommon to have electricity for just a few hours a day. Power shortages affect television audiences as well as PC users. But mobile powers on!
However, a lot of behaviour from mobile consumers remains unchanged - the majority of users spend up to 6 hours a day on multiple logins across devices to the internet. In this time users access the internet via their mobiles to communicate with friends and for entertainment. For brands looking to grasp the opportunities in mobile they need to look to educational services, with students keen for more content on this topic. Add to this the demand for media and financial services and it is clear to see there are still plenty of opportunities in the mobile space that are yet to be grasped.
The marketers are realizing the potential of this growing medium and are adapting their communication strategy accordingly. Mobile as the medium is getting its share in the media plans of many brands. Marketers are emphasizing on mobile as an important channel to disseminate the brand message.
With the fast growing usage of the medium, the marketers have started to plan their communication by keeping as the Mobile first. With the USP’s as
– Reach & Interactivity that mobile offers, marketers have started to utilize their QR codes, mobile games / applications and other mobile media properties in the best manner.
Many brands have already started to adopt their communication strategy knowing the potential that the mobile as the medium offers. For instance, Domino’s Pizza launched a mobile application to order the pizza from mobile. The user just needed to download the app on their mobile to see the latest offer / combo and order the favourite pizza. The objective was to reach out and distribute the app amongst the android users. Here, we stepped in and ran a campaign on brand safe youth oriented apps and sites targeting only android devices, leading the users to the free app download link.
Reuters, the international news agency launched the mobile site identifying the growing consumers on mobile. The idea was to promote the mobile site amongst the appropriate target audience. We partnered Reuters and ran a campaign on brand safe youth oriented apps and sites, targeting only smartphone in different time zones and on specific metros in India was able to generate good traffic on the mobile site.
Since India is a very fragmented market, it is important for the advertiser to plan their mobile communication keeping in mind all devices and operating systems as their target consumers can be on all possible devices. Further, they should partner with a network that offers homogenous reach in such a heterogeneous market.