growing technology, mobile phones have become the largest communications platform today, with close to 2.3 billion users across the globe. Other portable digital mediums of communication that are continuously evolving include laptops with 200 million users, media players, 350 million, and digital cameras, 400 million.
Despite such a large user base for portable technology, marketing and advertising content for the audience still remains in its infancy. Most investment in the area is still focused on simple text-to-win promotions and SMS mobile promotions.
As part of an ongoing global digital research programme, Lodestar Universal has conducted a global study to evaluate how the portable technology platform can deliver the huge promise it holds for content owners and marketing communications. The research covers 10,000 respondents having access to mobile and Internet, in the age group 16-54, from 21 markets on five continents. The research focuses on issues such as available portable technology and mobile media platforms, content, advertising and marketing opportunities, usage, growth potential and the attitudes and demands of users. Nearly 500 people were sampled in each of the markets and the selection provides a universe of 690 million users, which is just 30 per cent of the overall global mobile user base.
Currently, India has 200 million mobile users, but other portable devices such as portable music players, laptops and gaming machines are not very popular here. Of the interviewed users, India scores low with only 21, 12 and 6 per cent users, respectively, for music players, laptops and gaming machines. The global average for these devices is 66, 45 and 28 per cent, respectively.
But the positive fact is that when all other conventional media are fighting for eyeballs, India has one of the highest global averages, after Pakistan and China, for using a mobile phone - more than five times a day. India is ranked third with 33 per cent users crossing the five plus mark. On the other hand, Pakistan and China have 37 and 35 per cent users, respectively, in this category.
When it comes to dual viewership figures, mobile phones in India have a high penetration - 68 per cent users in India always carry a mobile phone, if no other device, while watching TV at home and 65 per cent carry it while studying at home, using the Internet, reading a newspaper or magazine or listening to the radio.
Almost 100 per cent mobile users carry their cell phones while out of home. This number is far higher than the percentage of people carrying music players, laptops and gaming machines - 45, 55 and 18 per cent, respectively.
It was found that when it comes to seeking gratification while travelling, Indians rank higher than the global average and China. About 55 per cent Indians like to be updated with information wherever they are. The global and the Chinese average in this respect is 33 and 47 per cent, respectively. India also ranks second in the world, after Singapore, with 34 per cent users spending more than 1.5 hours travelling on weekdays.
Analysing this scenario of mobile usage in India, Nandini Dias, chief operating officer, Lodestar Universal, points out that the mobile medium has the potential of becoming the next OOH medium. She says that mobile phones have a far higher potential to penetrate target audiences than other mediums. To substantiate her point, Dias indicates that the 200 million mobile user base in India is much larger than the total combined 140 million viewers of STAR Plus, Zee TV and Sony. Huge opportunities already exist for advertisers and marketers to exploit the potential of this medium, they just have to be leveraged in the right manner.