Mobile ad spends worldwide are set to leapfrog 10 times in the next four years. From a spend of about $1.4 billion on mobile media this year, the total ad spend globally is “predicted to touch $14.4 billion by 2011.”:http://ganeshsrinivasansps.terapad.com/index.cfm?fa=contentNews.news&directoryId=13793 No wonder experts such as Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO of French advertising major “Publicis Groupe,”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publicis one of the big four global advertising holding companies, believes that the future of advertising is in cell phones and hand held devices. This article takes a look at the mobile advertising media market in India.
To start with, it is interesting to note that the mobile subscriber base in India at “193 million in July 2007”:http://www.wirelessduniya.com/2007/08/25/indias-wireless-subscriber-base-reaches-193-million-in-july/ is now close to at least double the number of Internet users estimated to reach about 100 million by the end of 2007.
While the rate of Internet penetration in India at around 20% is impressive, the rate of growth of mobile subscribers in India is simply mind blowing. India is the world’s fastest growing mobile market with over “7 million new subscribers being added”:http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2007/07/26/stories/2007072653011400.htm to the mobile network every month which works out to an average annualized growth rate of “85% and much ahead of China.”:http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/10369.asp No wonder mobile subscribers are set to cross the 500 million mark or about 50%
of the Indian population within the next 3-4 years.
Given this scenario, experts believe mobile is not only the next frontier of advertising but it is also going to be the next big thing in advertising. The chief marketing officer of Verizone Wireless, for example, believes that “mobile advertising will eventually grab as much as 30% of the approximately $100 billion US ad spend” projected for 2010. India too is expected to follow this trend. That means mobile ad spend in India may well touch Rs 10,000 crore in the next 3-4 years.
There are “several reasons why mobile advertising”:http://www.slideshare.net/azifali/an-insight-into-mobile-advertising-by-asif-ali-cto-of-mobile-worx-cto-of-mobileworx-presented-at-momo3-new-delhi/ is the future of advertising. First is targeting. Media planners are always trying to find media that enables least wastage and highest targeting. While mass media advertising has a large reach, customization is limited and there is no interactivity. The degree of personalization and targeting is therefore the least in mass media advertising leading to the highest level of wastage from an advertiser’s point of view.
Internet advertising enables one-to-one advertising, greater customization to meet the needs of different audiences and interactivity. The degree of personalization is much higher compared to mass media advertising and, therefore, significantly lower wastage for advertisers.
Mobile advertising, on the other hand, offers the highest degree of personalization and, therefore, the least wastage of advertisers’ money as it not only provides nearly as much reach as mass media (print media reach is only around 24% and TV 55% while mobile reach will go up from about 20% now to around 50% in the next 3-4 years) is location specific and highly targeted, highly interactive, viral (infectious and spreads quickly) very personal and ubiquitous.
Moreover, the reach of both mobile and Internet media is more skewed towards the spending classes compared to print and TV media making them potentially much more attractive to advertisers despite their relatively lower reach compared to mass media.
With the rise of these new media – Internet and mobile – search-based advertising or what is also called search marketing is coming of age in India. Marketing professionals have to increasingly make themselves familiar with the complexities of “search marketing”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_marketing and how to make the best use of the rapidly growing new media. But then, that’s another story!