Monday, January 19, 2009

Internet in India

The Indian advertising market is currently at the nascent stage. It will take some more years
before this market reaches maturity. Till then, wider reach and penetration of traditional
media would continue to make television and print as the basic media in most advertising
campaigns. The maximum amount of the advertising budget will be taken away by these
media while Internet advertising would continue to thrive as an offshoot. Advertisers with
bigger budgets will continue to spend more on this media. Others will follow soon as this
medium matures. BFSI and ITES would be the major spenders on this medium while the
others will follow the suit. Further with convergence between media on the rise, the
distinction between online and offline media is expected to blur. All advertisers would be
forced to adopt this new media in order to exist and to stay relevant.
As broadband penetration increase in the Indian homes, Internet permeates into the
hinterlands of the country; web publishing companies would develop more content on the
Internet. With the growing possibilities of rich media we expect that more and more creative
content would flood the online space. This would make online advertising more relevant,
more creative, more informative and above all in tune with the customers. .
In conclusion, we believe that we are at the threshold of this change. The result of all the
trends outlined in the report foretells that great and exciting things are yet to happen in the
online advertising space. Till then we could wait and watch for the Indian advertising industry
to start off its journey into the cyberspace.

Is it the Mobile time?

The Internet was labelled new media 10 years ago. Even today, it is sometimes called that. With 300 million mobile subscribers, 47 million active users and advertising revenue of Rs 600 crore, - how mobile could be called new media.

An ultimate Swiss knife in mobiles. “Nobody needs a watch, a separate music player, an Internet browser, gaming device, search device, camera, pen drive, GPS, map or cricket and stock updates if they have a mobile,” .

Leveraging these in the market through services such as SMS, voice, mobile Internet and applications in accordance to every subscriber’s taste makes the difference.

Sending SMS alerts is the commonest mobile advertising method, where supply outstrips demand. “Using mobile responses by way of SMS for evaluating the offline media mix is a good idea,” citing the example of Intel. For Intel, Interactive Avenues tried to gauge which of three print ads was most effective, by way of the number of responses garnered via SMS.

While advertising on the mobile Internet, he said, one must focus on the relevance of the ad for the customer and maintain smaller formats and crisp messages. On the applications front, he said that the advent of 3G would bring about a sea change.

A good picture of the future of the medium. It is said that the mobile industry was growing at 60 per cent year on year, and today, there were 15 million GPRS users in the country.

“In the next five years, people will read their newspapers in the bathroom,” was recently stated, implying the ease of mobile use with the advent of technology. According to a worldwide study, only 7 per cent of the time spent on the iPhone is for conversing.

“Five to six per cent of the marketing budget should go to mobile marketing. Advertisers need to do more than just creating banner ads or WAP sites,” .

Mobile is not ‘new’ media any more

If the joke that people engage more with their mobile phones than they do with their spouses is indeed true, then it’s good news for the medium, especially where advertising is concerned.

The mobile medium has been striving to find a place in media plans, and with more awareness of its numerous attributes, it stands a chance of becoming the most sought-after medium in the times to come.

An interesting observation is that more than 50 per cent people keep their mobiles within a distance of five feet while sleeping. A person looks at his mobile screen every 11-15 minutes. It's not just a personal medium that engages, but also an in-home and out-of-home medium.

"These reasons answer the question 'why mobile'. Even television, which commands the biggest chunk of the ad pie, doesn't offer these benefits. Advertisers have tried WAP and push SMSes, but are looking at better ways to reach targeted consumers,".

Advertisers are looking for solutions that are non-intrusive, targeted, contextual, integrated, transparent and interactive. Citing the example of Google, which features ads relevant to the search criteria.

Many forces were working to make available inventory that could work across platforms – voice, SMS, WAP and video can be contextually targeted with simple interactive tools.

The biggest opportunity for an advertiser is SMS and voice. While there are only 14-20 per cent users for mobile content, the penetration of SMS is 90 per cent and that of voice, 100 per cent.

The “always there” medium has the capability to reach the consumers at a personal level and serve the right ad at the right time. Like the Toyota Yaris was the first successful product launch on mobile – it used a highly engaging mobisode of the television series, Prison Break.

“Someday, mobile will rule the ad world,” is what is guessed, adding that it would be the measurability of the medium that would make it happen. “No readership survey or audience measurement survey can effectively gauge the effectiveness of an ad. They only talk about the effectiveness of the medium. But mobile will be able to address that,” .

Advertisers have an equally important role to play in this. “It is imperative to have great content to hold user interest and get customer eyeballs. Ads need to be subtle, contextually relevant and viral in nature," .