Mobile phones have become an integral part of today’s life. But while most of us are only acquainted with this from the consumer or user’s point of few, there’s a deeper revolution brewing. Devices and apps might be the stars of this revolution, and rightly so as they have ‘enabled’ this sea change in our lives. But in the longer run, the mobile industry can expect to go the same way as the PC industry – when the tools are so commonplace that no one gives them a second glance, but it’s how we work using these tools that remains a constant reminder of how tech changes lives.
The opportunity for the marketer
Take these facts: The disposable incomes of Indian youth are rising fast. Indian youth are becoming decision makers at an early age. Indian youth are becoming influencers for their family and friends. Combine these, and what you get is a fantastic opportunity for marketers – reach out to the youth and not only have you made contact with today’s decision makers, but tomorrow’s high net worth influencers. But add in one more fact to this – Indian youth (like their peers the word over) simply love their mobile phones – and it becomes clear how important mobile marketing is.
Recognition, but there’s much to be done
According to the Mobile Marketing Association’s (mmaglobal.com) ‘Mobile Marketing in India State of the Industry 2015’ report, marketers are well aware of this opportunity: 58% of marketers regard mobile as a ‘very important’ channel, while 47% say it has proven to be a ‘very effective marketing channel’. And yet, despite this rising awareness of how important mobile is, 49% of marketers spend 5% or less of their budgets on mobile.
So what makes mobile marketing in India lag behind its peers in the Asia Pacific region? The answers are many – According to the MMA’s findings, the biggest factor holding back change is the difficulty of accessing reliable metrics. Another vital factor is the lack of quality content.
Now, while this may lead you to believe that India’s not prepared for a big push n mobile marketing, it’s not so. The same report also saw around 38% of marketers express the belief that mobile budgets would rise over 50% by 2020. In short, the theme is clear – we might have responded slower to the marketing opportunities that lie within the mobile field, but we’ll probably make up for lost time very fast. Also, the two main hindrances that have so far led to slow growth are also indications of where the opportunities lie – In creating quality content, and choosing platforms and tools that enable easy metrics and RoI measurement.
The changing patterns of content consumption
The decline in print we’re witnessing in India has been accompanied by the rise of a new giant – mobile content. From political news and Bollywood gossip, to sports and auto, online content is the favourite amongst our youth. And given that the youth prefer mobile consumption, the implications are clear – you must create mobile-friendly, and youth-centric content to reach out to this mass of young, educated, and tech-savvy youth. According to a report, “84% own mobile phones of all types (33% smartphones) who spend more than 3 hours browsing the internet.”
Even today, it’s easy to see – brands and content providers who have successfully tapped into the youth market have a few things in common: fast-paced, short-form content, agility that helps them respond quickly to new trends, and a easy links to social media.
Social media has itself become a reliable marketing channel itself. As you’d have seen from our previous blog posts, social media levels the playing field, allowing smaller companies who lack resources to successfully take on established rivals who can outspend them on other fora – primarily TV and print. ‘Going viral’ might seem to be the ultimate aim of any brand present on social media, and luckily, you don’t need money to do so. On the contrary, brands with a ‘young’ face have it easier than companies perceived as ‘stuffy’ and ‘corporate’. The lessons here are clear, social media is here to stay, and the promise it offers – of combining CRM and marketing in one package that can, if you play your cards right, send the message out to thousands of consumers without much expense – means it should be a part of your mobile marketing strategy.
Metrics and RoI
As we pointed out above, the lack of reliable metrics often holds brands from pushing ahead with an online / mobile marketing strategy. But the world is changing, and if you look around, it’s not difficult to access tools that help you work out how well your online marketing is doing. From cloud telephony, which plugs into your databases and provides a low-cost, reliable way to reaching out to consumers over the most effective medium of communications – voice, to social media marketing tools that make tracking and analytics easy for small teams who lack resources, to content creation tools that from the outset, focus on creating not just quality content, but quality content that your target audience will like, metrics is no longer a reason to shy away from the mobile world.
Mobile marketing is still in its infancy in India, but the opportunities are many. With everything falling into place now – a large audience, low-cost and reliable tools and mediums, and plug-and-play metrics tools, it’s time your brand got started on this before your competitors.