Advertisers should focus on mobile consumer behaviour not technology

MUMBAI: Out of the total ad spend in India only one per cent goes towards mobile which makes it a Rs. 2.5 billion market. For mobile ad revenues to grow by 30-40 per cent some things need to happen.

Firstly mobile should be part of an integrated media plan. This means that mobile ad networks should approach advertisers and their agencies to explain how it can add legs to a campaign. Also advertisers who use mobile should focus on emerging consumer behaviour and not on emerging mobile technology.

These were some key points made at a session of IAMAI‘s Mobile Marketing Conference today. The speakers were Aircel AGM - New Services, VAS Digital Marketing & Mobile Advertising Anurag Sachdeva, InMobi Country GM Sandeep Deshpande, MadHouse COO Vinod Thadani, Nielsen MD Prashant Singh and MD, CEO Dippak Khurana.

Deshpande said that one big thing to note is that by the first quarter of next year accessing net from the mobile will be more than accessing it from a laptop or a PC. That will have huge implications on brand interaction. In that sense India will follow China and Japan. He noted that a lot of simultaneous usage of TV and mobile happens when people are at home. So if an advertiser spends money on TV for reach and then uses mobile as well it will give a multiplier effect.

Asked about the difference between a PC and mobile he noted that at work laptop is used while during a break or on a commute the mobile is used. "The mobile is not about creating content for users. It is about consuming content. So if a brand wants a consumer to fill out a long form it might be better off trying another medium. The user context is different. What one can do with a mobile is different from what one can do with a PC."

For him another difference is that online ad technologies were developed by publishers themselves like Yahoo!, Google. But on the mobile, ad networks came in to develop ad technologies. "InMobi has played a key role in developing technologies for mobile advertisers."

Sachdeva said that 30 million smartphones devices are in use. The figure will reach 150 million by 2015. There are 20 million credit card users and so the concept of the mobile wallet will grow. "One must remember that the mobile is a medium in itself and a connecting tissue. It can add legs to a marketing campaign. Mobile is not just about display advertising."

Asked about the role mobile operators would have in mobile advertising going forward, he said operators in India would not become dumb pipes. "Users demonstrate intent on devices which an operator captures. The mobile wallet will play an important role especially if there is no other means of payment. Location-based services are becoming important. At the same time it is important to not confuse advertisers with technical jargon like smartphones."

Thadani said that consumer is the king. He changes his behaviour and mobile advertisers and networks have to map his/her behaviour. "An integrated media plan is key rather than just thinking about the mobile. Mobile advertising shouldn‘t be sold on its own. Advertisers and mobile ad networks need to see how mobile can add incremental reach to a media plan. The mobile part of a media plan can be customised for different brands." He notes that 30-40 per cent ad growth is possible if one understands the merits of a mobile device.

Singh says that there is diversity in users. "You have tablet users. There are smartphone users which increases app usage. There are also rich feature phones. After that you have basic phones. At all levels the mobile phone is the most prized gadget. Brands that target SEC A can target smartphone users. The price drop for a smartphone will change the market three years from now."

At the same time one needs to know what the consumer is doing. Metrics are needed in the mobile space. TV for instance has TRPs, GRPs. This is a short term challenge for the mobile. He also said that the targeting option for advertisers could be a device and then overlay that with content that apps use. Brand advertising is growing. Consumers can be engaged with rich media. An effective metric is cost per engaged user. How many people clicked, how many people went beyond a click and engaged with an ad can be seen.

Khurana said that there is a need to understand how mobile consumption is happening, "Marketers need to embrace the telecom ecosystem. The gap between telecom and media should be bridged. In India there are 12,000 mobile devices that browse the Internet. "A mobile phone allows you to browse. This is a user‘s most important gadget. It is important for advertisers to not worry about new operating systems coming in. It is more important to focus on innovative ways to reach consumers."

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