marketing may have caught the fancy of many, but it is yet to prove itself in the overall advertising mix. And this holds true in spite of the sheer number of mobile phone users in India. With mobile privacy mechanisms such as DND (Do Not Disturb), it is becoming increasingly difficult for advertisers to target mobile phone users.
At the IAMAI Mobile VAS 2008, organised by OnMobile, eminent mobile industry experts pondered over the mobile marketing phenomenon and what could be done to improve it.
Another interesting nugget that he shared was that Makemytrip.com experiences most of its bookings in small towns, which could perhaps mean that mobile marketing has a huge future in these places.
Rajeev Dhal, country head, J9 Mobile, however, pointed out the issues in mobile marketing, the first of which is inadequate consumer profiling. "We don't know his needs, psychographics or anything beyond what he has downloaded," said Dhal, hypothetically adding, "Today if I pass by a McDonald's outlet, I might receive the same promotional message as my driver."
Secondly, there is the problem of measurability, with few or no parameters defined in this regard. In addition, the pricing model of mobile marketing isn't defined. "All this leads to no defined role of mobile marketing in the marketing mix," Dhal said. "While we all know what television and press can do, we have no clue about the powers of mobile marketing." The solution, according to him, is to know the customer better, by going beyond segmenting on service type, intensity of use and available balance. A user generated content type product could also be leveraged, such as classifieds on the mobile, which would allow more room for interactivity.
Atanu Mandal, president, ACL Wireless, seemed content with the existing mobile marketing model - that of enterprises (such as banks) sending SMS alerts. "This business is doing well," he said, while adding that other global formats such as audio and video clips will soon be available in India.