Advertisers in India are spending about R4,200 crore on mobile and this is set to rise in the coming year, with an estimated spend of R10,000 crore by 2020. This reflects the changing face of consumer demand to delight in content-rich mobile experiences, driven by key factors such as improved Wi-Fi infrastructure in tier-II and III cities, the acceleration of 3G and 4G network rollout in the telecom space, the growing rate of smartphone penetration as well as the growth in earning population.
What has been most exhilarating, however, is how the small screen has changed the way consumers engage with content. In moments of need — be it search, purchase or communication — consumers turn to the nearest device — their phones. Leading video publishers have seen watch-time in India grow 80% over the last one year, of which 55% was on mobile. Even for content sharing, it’s a mobile world. 90% of content uploads on those services were from mobile as well.
More than simply increasing ad spends on mobile, brands need to take an integrated approach when including mobile in the marketing mix. This means the channel needs to be part of overall brand-building efforts, aligned with other business growth endeavours like sales, customer experience and other operational functions. While there are encouraging signs of progress with as many as 68% of Indian digital marketers saying that they have integrated mobile into their marketing strategies, only a handful of industries are truly displaying digital and mobile maturity.
E-commerce businesses in India, for instance, have made a particularly aggressive push into mobile in hopes of cashing in on the rapidly growing online marketplace. A powerful example is Flipkart. Its transition from web to mobile has been accelerating noticeably; apart from crossing over 10 million downloads on Google Play, it also launched its new mobile wallet, PhonePe.
While mobile marketing can be incredibly influential in shaping industries, the fundamental approach lies in understanding consumption patterns on the medium. In particular, amongst younger audiences, we are witnessing a demand for short-form content on mobile. Research has found that the average length of video viewed in India is less than 20 minutes, with snackable content making up more than half of all content consumed on YouTube.
Indeed, it is no longer about acknowledging the true potential of mobile, but getting the science of mobile marketing right. Digital marketers need to continually stay in tune with the latest developments and possess mastery over them in order to reach consumers in inventive ways. The adoption of technology, from chat bots to mobile virtual reality will become increasingly important for brands eager to lead the Indian mobile revolution.
After all, in today’s world, getting mobile right means getting the business right.
The author is Rohit Dadwal, MD, Mobile Marketing Association, Asia Pacific