Mobile advertising set to grow in India

02 February 2010

NEW DELHI: Mobile advertising revenues could almost treble in value in India over the next three years, as more brands take advantage of the opportunities for targeting offered by this channel.

It is estimated that there are over 500 million wireless subscribers in the Asian nation at present, with this figure expanding at a rapid rate.

According to the Mobile Marketing Association, the medium currently generates 125 crore rupees ($26.9m; €19.4m; £16.9m) in adspend, a total that will rise to 350 crore rupees in the next three years.

Rohit Dadwal, managing director of the MMA, said "we have seen brands and agencies alike come up the value chain over the past several years."

This has meant that marketers are increasingly moving beyond basic tools like text messages, looking to the mobile web and producing branded content specifically for this outlet.

Alongside allowing companies to engage consumers in hard-to-reach rural markets, this approach also enables firms to communicate with current and potential customers in different languages.

Hewlett-Packard, the IT giant, ran a mobile campaign based around the tagline "Your notebook tells your story" last year, and a separate initiative aimed specifically at students.

Shubhodip Pal, head of the organisation's marketing and consumer personal systems group, said "mobile marketing is the most responsive medium ever so far. We get a unique identity of the customer."

"Because of the options we give to our customers, they give us responses and thus it is very interactive and personal," Pal added.

"From the data that we get, we can find out the preferences of our customers and we can also check who is responding and who is not. This is typically for both promos and new launches."

CellStrat, the consultancy, recently conducted a survey of 5,000 people aged between 18 and 40 years old in India, and found that 42% of this group regularly accessed the mobile internet.

Around 40% of this audience did so for reasons linked to entertainment, with 35% using search engines and social networks, 30% looking at news content, and 20% accessing banking services.

Some 37% of CellStrat's panel agreed they would be interested in receiving targeted mobile ads, while 39% did not want to view this sort of material.

A further 63% of contributors had a preference for "opting-in" to mobile marketing schemes, while 71% of participants stated they were willing to consume ads in exchange for benefits like free calls and texts.

Data sourced from Telecom Yatra; additional content by Warc staff