Jan 8, 2009

Mktg - India;Mobile marketing to come of age in 2009

Seema Sindhu

Digital media advertising ( internet, mobile and digital signage) is expected to emerge as the medium of choice for advertisers. Of the available media, it was the fastest growing segment in 2008. Its better return on investment and the comparative ease with which its efficacy can be measured will ensure that the trend continues, say analysts.

Viraj Malik, MD, Percept Knorigin (digital advertising arm of Percept), says that earlier, internet advertising was used by BFSI ( Banking, Financial Services and Insurance companies) and .com companies only. In the last 6 months, other consumer-oriented brands have also started using the medium.

“In 2009, video ads will the most popular form of online advertising as more and more brands are willing to put video ads on internet,” Malik envisages. Knorigin grew 82-100 per cent in 2008 and Malik expects it to grow at the same pace in 2009.

Rising interest in social networking in 2008 has made brands think seriously about online advertising. According to a Ficci-PwC report, it is expected to touch Rs 1,100 crore in 2011 from the current Rs 300 crore.

Malik adds that while volumes in internet advertising will grow as compared to mobile advertising, the mobile medium will see some interesting options. The 3G roll out will drive the use of content-rich applications. This will open up more options for mobile advertising.

Analysts believe that mobile marketing will be a much bigger opportunity in the next 2 years than the internet has been in the past 10 years. This will come from a mix of three primary streams — SMS advertising, mobile internet advertising and mobile invertising (permission-based advertising).

Rohit Kaul, vice-president, Netcore Solutions Pvt Ltd, says: “In 2009, operators will focus on value-added services and data services to distinguish from and compete with new operators. This will open platform for mobile advertisers. Mobile number portability rollout, 3G services, and the green signal for MVNOs will leverage mobile advertising on the same account.”

Kaul believes that 2009 general elections will be an inflection point for the usage of mobiles in many different ways. “Just as the 2008 US elections were a defining moment in the use of internet and mobile, I believe that the 2009 general elections in India will drive innovation in how the mobile is used for building communities, citizen journalism, advertising and more,” Kaul adds.

Vishwanath Alluri, chairman, CEO and founder of IMImobile, is not equally optimistic of the growth, though: “As the traditional media advertising spends are being pruned, digital media advertising also may not grow very fast. Currently, we are using very primitive mode of mobile advertising - SMS. But with increase in consumption of data services on the roll out of 3G in India, advertisers will start seeing value in the medium. It will not only give traction to advertising, but will also facilitate the flow of ads on the device.”

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