Mobile marketing in growth path

MUMBAI: With digital becoming the ‘fashionable’ medium over the past couple of years, marketers are now looking at exploring the various avenues it presents. With the growing acceptance of new technologies, many new possibilites for marketing and ways to reach the TG have emerged. The mobile has gone from being the traditional third screen to the first screen for many, especially the youngsters.

Mobile marketing is finding new takers everyday. Along with the potential it presents, it also throws a set of challenges. The 8th Marketing Conclave held by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) brought out the many nuances of mobile marketing. The panel discussion was moderated by 2ergo MD Raj Singh and the participants were Velti director product management - mobile marketing Paul Griswold, Aditya Birla Group CMO financial services Ajay Kakar, One97 head mobile marketing and advertising Srinivas Mothey and Google India country head- mobile Mahesh Narayanan.

Mobile search is growing at an estimated 170 per cent year on year. Globally nearly 80 per cent users make use of the search option first when they switch to a smartphone. Obviously the figures point to a massive market and reach, especially among the youth. Mobile is going the way Internet went in the year 2005, only it is a more complex medium with a variation in services, service providers, operating systems and screen diversities.

While youth are early adopters and accept new technologies, the CMOs are yet to grow to the mobile medium. Here is the first challenge in mobile marketing. While the medium and the user has matured, the marketer is yet to catch up. Other challenges include figuring out what percentage of TG can be reached through the medium of mobile marketing and how much should be spent on the medium. The issue of measurability lingers over here as well.

Kakar offers, “Apart from the fact that we as markerters need to grow up to the medium, the tone of our marketing and ads also needs to change. The audience today will not respond to a ‘buy me’ kind of message. Brands need to communicate ‘why me’ and give the consumer an incentive, a reason to choose the brand.”

Also, mobile marketing means different things to different brands. While some brands may believe in sending bulk messages and use IVR. Others may believe in developing dedicated apps and display ads. Thus the parameters of mobile advertising will also change from brand to brand and audience to audience.

Griswald opines, “Another hurdle we need to cross is the fact that mobile advertising doesn’t figure in the integrated marketing plan. While we spent almost 10 per sent of our time looking at the mobile screen, marketing spends on the mediun are in the range of one per cent of the total budget.”

The mobile need not be a separate medium. It is actually a superset of the Internet and broadens the scope of online. It provides yet another way to interact one on one with the consumer. Mothey concurs, “The trick will be to integrate the mobile medium with the other digital and non digital routes. There can not be one single mobile solution in isolation.”

But how does one convince the ever suspicious brands of the merits of mobile advertising? Narayanan offers, “Create case studies. That way you can convince the brands to take up this medium.”

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