NEW DELHI: Brand owners looking to engage Indian consumers could gain substantial benefits from leveraging permission-based text messages and other simplistic mobile tools, a study has argued.

Agency SinglePoint and research firm Mobile Squared predicted "conversational" advertising via wireless handsets should quickly gain ground in the country.

This discipline is defined as covering message-led communications that customers opt in to receive, and can incorporate content like news, product information and special offers.

Overall, the category was projected to be worth $238m (€181m; £152m) by 2015, equivalent to a 40% share of mobile marketing expenditure, measured against 0.5% today.

A survey among cellphone users revealed 60% would exchange exposure to this kind of material for free calls or data usage.

Including mobile in campaigns is growing ever more important, as the potential audience seems set to cross 1bn people by 2013.

"India is a market driven by cost, where 70% of the population is rural," said Raghu Kumar, SinglePoint's managing director.

"With limited income to spend, the mobile device may be the only screen they have access to."

"This makes mobile a very compelling medium to brands and businesses especially given that SMS spend is much higher than voice spend in India.

Data sourced from India Infoline; additional content by Warc staff