Marketing through mobiles

Written by Diksha Dutta | Diksha Dutta | Updated: Apr 9 2012, 08:16am hrs
The smaller the size of the industry, the more efforts it needs in reaching to its perspective clients. Such is the case with mobile advertising. Three years back, mobile advertising was negligible in India. But today, big names like Coke, Samsung, Adidas and Reebok are initiating efforts to be on our mobiles while we are busy chatting, surfing the internet or simply messaging on our handsets. The big shift today is that small mobile advertising companies are tying up with bigger ad agencies to reach out to a larger client portfolio.

A few days back, mobile media messaging and advertising company Affle and Japan-based mobile advertising firm, D2 Communications, which is the parent company of ad giant Denstu India floated a joint venture called ad2c to serve as an independent, full-service mobile advertising and marketing agency. The venture ad2c has also announced the acquisition of MobiMasta, a Gurgaon-based mobile marketing startup, for an undisclosed amount, as the company looks to scale up its India business.

Anuj Khanna Sohum, founder and chairman, ad2c, says, It took me such a long while to understand that there was an important gap in the advertising world today. Agencies have probably not built that capability to offer mobile advertising to its customers. That is why we have tied up with Starcom and Denstu so that we can offer mobile advertising as a part of their digital package to the customers. Affle already has clients such as Samsung, NDTV, Adidas, Reebok, Coke and runs their ad campaigns on mobiles.

Sample this success story: Reebok Indias The Zig Energy boost campaign has had over 1,40, 000 downloads on the mobile with no media budget, 36,000 score posts to facebook with over 20, 000 content downloads. The engagement was delivered at a cost per download of just R 6.4.

Sohum explains that consumer engagement is very important in advertising and that happens the most in mobiles where the response can be measuerd. Affle has partnered with various mobile apps like Nimbus and ebuddy to encourage advertising while chatting. We have also tied up with carriers like Tata Docomo and Reliance. Thus, everybody who wants to add advertising revenues comes to us a as a partner. There needs to be partnering amongst the ecosystem for mobile advertising to work.

Agrees Rohit Ohri, executive chairman, Dentsu India Group, We are looking at a holistic approach where we can approach the customers and offer them mobile advertising in an integrated offering. We have over 50 clients in India and will offer mobile advertising as a part of digital advertising to all of them. In Tokyo, mobile advertising is very successful model and we are trying to bring the same model to India. He adds that Denstu India is convinced about the growing importance of the use of mobile in the marketing mix of all brands. With ad2cs launch the important gap of a credible partner who could help in addressing marketing challenges and pushing brand messages using the mobile platform, has been filled.

Broadly, FMCG, consumer electronics and automobiles are the sectors which are usually keen on reaching its customers through mobiles. Mobile advertising is today about 0.5% of the total advertising pie. The numbers may be small, but we expect a yoy growth of 75% for the next few years, says CVL Srinivas, chairman, Starcom MediaVest Group.

He adds: Globally, mobile advertising levels are expected to hit $20 billion by 2015 from around $3 billion in 2011. Advertisers cannot ignore this medium anymore. They need to look at leveraging the power of the mobile from a marketing and business angle. We have been early movers into mobile advertising; we see a rapid increase in its usage with clients moving from experimentation to more strategic partnerships in the years to come.