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Mobile phones smartly disrupt marketing ecosystem

Mobile phones smartly disrupt marketing ecosystem
Mobile phones have changed the world in their usage. From plain communication through person-to-person talk to viewing movies and even marketing, the mobile has taken on different shades of working that is continuously being redefined by its creators and users in their efforts to derive the utmost from this tiny device.

The marketing ecosystem has seen a disruptive change due to new technologies and the mobile is the forefront of this new ecosystem as one of the powerful channels that not only provides a great reach but also deep engagement with the consumers.  The mobile is a seismic shift in the way people consume information. Mobile video will soon be the number one way people consume video content and advertising, and technology and creativity will play an important role in revolutionising this space. 

The focus here will be on several fronts including: Recognising the formats and content areas that are building mobile audiences; successfully engaging with one’s brand’s mobile ad creativvity and keeping up with the expanding and evr evolving market. With the advent of smartphones, the consumption of ‘Digital Goods and Content’ is on the rise. With enhanced experience, these consumers— driven by transactions, gratification and loyalty — are fast emerging as the largest community of buyers on mobile devices of all categories of products the world over. A recent activity in the economic hub of Mumbai witnessed a gathering of this industry’s representatives where the occasion was the Mobile Marketing Association’s (MMA) Forum India 2014 comprising mobile marketers that had gathered to discuss the most pressing issues and opportunities facing the Industry. The theme of the event was Reimagining Mobile and focused on how to provide marketers the knowledge to effectively allocate resources and establish the right infrastructure to leverage mobile.

‘In the past, our activities were predictability tied to specific times, places and devices. Today, time and place do not dictate what we can do.  We are mobile, on the move, multi-tasking and using multiple screens across work, life and play. A new reality exists from brands in this world — a reality where the rules of engagement change as quickly as consumers’ expectations,’ according to Microsoft Advertising (Asia Pacific) General Manager Adam Anger  on advertising in the moments that matter that explored how brands could leverage data and insights to create immersive experiences that reached consumers in the moments that matter most to them, in different mindsets throughout the day.

‘Mobile has sparked a new world of media in which every object is a medium and every place an opportunity for a message,’ said Mobile Marketing Association (Asia Pacific) Managing Director Rohit Dadwal. ‘There is no other platform that is as personal, as pervasive and also provides the opportunity for proximity to connect with consumers in the right place and time. It is time to reimagine marketing with mobile leading the charge and, to that end, the MMA — with input from leading brands — launched the industry’s positioning promise: Nothing Brings You Closer to the Consumer.’

Recognising that most brands now understand the strategic importance of mobile within the marketing mix, the event featured a stellar lineup of brand speakers from companies such as Cadbury India, Facebook India, Mindshare, Microsoft, eBay India, Vserv, Twitter, Hungama Digital, Hindustan Unilever, Madhouse Inc., exchange4media, among others.

‘Real-time conversation drives real-time actions and, as we reach for our mobiles, we are engaging users to install apps, drive engagement and — by Twitter combining sophisticated targeting and building reach — we are connecting brands to an audience that is hungry to engage,’ according to Parminder Singh, Managing Director for SEA, India&MENA, Twitter, who spoke on ‘How Twitter and Mobile are changing ways that brands connect to consumers’ by stating that target markets are now ‘target moments’ where the paradigm of markets has changed. ‘We need to provide messages that add value to your customer. 1) Inform: a KFC advertisement saying KFC Cheesy BBQ Melt (in Singapore) meal at $6.50 witnessed the brand mentions going up by 7 times on Twitter. A survey of Twitter users showed that about 67 per cent people will look for shopping offers at Diwali. So social media is about people, not your business. No  2) Help: People love social causes and if you help them, they love it. So help is the new language of communication.’

Speaking on No Mobile, No Marketing – Top Trends of Mobile Marketing in China,  Madhouse Inc Founder & Chief Executive Officer Joshua Maa described the state of mobile advertising in China and the major trends in the fast-growing and fast-moving industry there whose trends could shape the future of the mobile advertising space. Highlighting the 1.25 billion mobile subscribers in China who number about 20 per cent of global mobile subscription, he said there are about 448.3 million 3G/4G users in China and, since June 2012, mobile Internet users outstripped users of personal computers in that country. ‘Statistics showed that people spent about 42 per cent time on the mobile, personal computer (29 per cent) and television (17 per cent),’ he said while pointing out that there are devices in China that can boost one’s apps to even the no: 1 position.

‘We are seeing the emergence of ‘Mobile Programmatic Buying’ (in China), rise of mobile video advertisements and native advertisements growing on a big scale to $1.5 billion; increasing demand from Chinese app marketers who want to acquire overseas users and spend much money recruiting users from overseas (China developed 10 per cent of the apps in the world); increasing demand from Chinese EC companies who want to promote their products overseas,’ he added.

As mobile advertising takes the centre stage of ad spends growth, the war of the world has begun unleashed by advertisers to chase every possible eyeball to convey its brand message. How mobile ads navigate their way through to break through NOISE and CLUTTER of hundreds of brands begging for the same consumer attention — was focused on in Connecting Audiences in Meaningful Ways through Mobile Advertising by Opera Mediaworks Head of Brand Advertising Kshitiz Randhir Shori.

‘With a year-over-year growth rate of over 70 per cent, the Asia-Pacific region has been our fastest-growing region for the delivery of ad impressions this year. Leading this rapid expansion of ad traffic is India, which has increased its delivered impressions by over 260 per cent since July 2013. We are the world’s largest advertising platform with 50 million users on our network and global mobile advertising revenues from $10.13 million in 2012 to $19.38 million in 2013. However, the advertising system is becoming increasingly a confusing complex system that is a ‘Spray and Pray’ type advertising,’ he said while calling for thinking challenges in the mobile advertising sector.

Highlighting Brand Safety and Transparency, he said what was being witnessed 29 per cent suspicious traffic and 71 per cent non-suspicious traffic on mobiles. ‘There is a lot of cross-network duplication happening in the eco-system. Mobile First advertisers are  carpet bombing  the space, blocking every possible audience available across platforms.’

In a panel discussion on Mobile Video – Understanding Its True Value & Impact, Yahoo Asia Pacific Senior Director Marketing Nitin Mathur noted that videos on the personal computers took five years to grow, but mobiles took barely one-and-half year to achieve this. ‘About 62 per cent of all the concerned videos on web are going to be driven out by mobile. However, the question is: what works on PC – how do you get it on mobile?’

While Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai & Kolkata President Navin Talreja said YouTube has become the only medium where users can express their creativity. SMG Convonix Founder 7 CEO Vishal Sampat said space size is the biggest challenge on mobile in viewing content and linear format is being used today, but there is a need for experimenting use of non-linear.

Focusing on urban and rural India, Sampat said Bollywood moviemakers are now making short movies for viewing use on mobiles. ‘Mobile video consumption has gone through the roof and we can compress video format to mobile viewing though there is need to work on this. The rate of mobile growth is so fast that people are grappling with what to do about the need to evangelise and spread this reach. Challenges in infrastructure are there but the focus has moved on from why to how to address the problems,’ he noted.

Dwelling on How Real Identity is Driving Business Results on Mobile, Facebook India Managing Director Kirthiga Reddy spoke about three trends on mobile that retailers could take advantage of to reach and engage with customers.  ‘The mobile internet took over in 2013 and India will be ahead of the USA in 2014. Facebook numbers around a billion in a world where about 108 million users in India are connecting on Facebook mobile devices in which one out of every six minutes is spent online in the country.’

Quoting statistics, she said Facebook witnessed over one billion users viewing video per day, besides a 50 per cent growth being seen in these video viewers during the period May to July, 2014. She highlighted FB video advertisements, where people share their stories. This had reached 31 million, got 54 times return on advertisement spend, and 18,420 devices sold as a result of Facebook advertisement investment. Leveraging local custom helped reach 15 million users and witnessed 16 times more calls being received, she said.

Speaking on Bringing Mobile to the Heart of the Marketing Mix, Hindustan Unilever Home Care Executive Director Priya Nair said mobiles are emerging as an e-marketing tool and the advent of the mobile as a media vehicle to give out 800 million messages to 800 mobile users. The challenges are that mobiles’ primary use in communication is now morphing into entertainment, infotainment and engagement. To put mobiles in the heart of a marketing plan, there is a need to understand consumer behaviour with regards to mobile, learn through trial and build an ecosystem that worked for one’s business. Highlighting ‘mobile as a media device,’ she focused on the ‘AXE CALL ME CAMPAIGN’ which had drawn 20 million calls on a number displayed in this advertisement. ‘The heart of this campaign was the mobile number shown in this advertisement.  The ‘LUX Chennai Express’ contest, which invited people to call the displayed number and share a ride with Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan, drew total 5.5 million missed calls and got LUX about 600 basis points (BPS) increase in a month.’

‘The ‘WHEEL Missed Calls’ campaign witnessed 30 million missed calls and 3 million unique numbers and 80 per cent people listening to the entire content, besides average missed calls per person being 10 times more.’ About using the mobile to reach dark regions,’ she said ‘We started this in Bihar and we realised we could use this system in Bollywood. Where incentivising was concerned, we found the need to deliver incentives to consumers by way of mobile talktime. One friend (a small entrepreneur) found that she could reach out her business to through this initiative.’
Dominick Rodrigues

Dominick Rodrigues

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