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Mobile Conversations 2008: Ad spends on the mobile are less

By Tarana Khan , afaqs!, Bengaluru | In Digital | September 29, 2008
The second session at the Mobile Conversations seminar in Bengaluru was on integrating the mobile in media plans

The & #BANNER1 & # second panel discussion at Mobile Conversations 2008 held in Bengaluru on Friday was on integrating the mobile in media plans . Moderator Vineet Gupta, marketing lead, Microsoft Advertising, India, laid the agenda for the session by defining the mobile as Media mix, Opportunity, Bandwidth, Interactivity, Learnings and Effectiveness.

Paurush Sonkar, brand manager, digital initiatives, at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, started off by saying that the mobile is the only medium which stays with a person 24 hours a day. He said, "The mobile is the only medium which has not eaten into other media. In fact, it works in tandem with other media."

Paurush Sonkar

Gulshan Verma

Sanjeev Patni

Viraj Malik

Vineet Gupta
Giving an international example of successful mobile marketing, Sonkar talked about a mobile application developed by Axe. Called 'Little Black Book', the application let users specify certain ringtones for the women in the address book in accordance with their personality.

Next on the panel, Gulshan Verma, director, sales strategy, Yahoo! India, presented two case studies - one national and one international - to illustrate the power of mobile marketing. The international case study was one done by Yahoo! for Guinness on Vodafone Live! The WAP campaign was a promotion done by the beer brand on St Patrick's Day.

Yahoo! studied those exposed to the campaign and found that of the 2.5 million impressions delivered, the awareness of the ad was increased by 25 percentage points, brand favourability increased by 12 percentage points, and the intent to purchase the product was increased by 9 percentage points.

The Indian case study was on Kissan jams where WAP banners were placed to lead consumers to a landing page, where they could download video and text recipes based on Kissan jams.

A total of 1.4 million impressions were delivered, there was a CTR (click through rate) of more than 2 per cent. Of the 85,000 video views of the recipes, 21,000 were through Yahoo! Mobile.

Next on the dais, Sanjeev Patni, business director at ActiveMedia Technology, said, "Advertisers have a very shallow understanding of mobile marketing. It is much more than SMS advertising."

Patni went on to elaborate on the various platforms of mobile marketing, including the pull based and push based campaigns which are opted for by customers.

The final panellist to speak, Viraj Malik, managing director of Percept Knorigin, said that in the UK, the mobile is the second most used medium, but it does not figure in the top seven media into which advertisers put their money, even though 10.5 per cent of ad budgets are spent on the Internet. In India, said Malik, advertisers spend much less on the Internet and even less - probably 0.2 per cent of their ad budgets - on the mobile.

Looking at the current platforms available for mobile advertising, Malik said that branded applications and mobile portals allow for the most colourful ad messages and are persuasive ways of branding. He added that rich media such as AdRBT (ad ring back tones) and RBV (ring back videos) are also good ways of branding.

Malik said the walled garden approach to WAP portals needs to go, and that the online and mobile experience must be interchangeable. "It has taken 10 years for us to understand Internet marketing, and unless there is a proper ecosystem in mobile advertising, it will not take off," said Malik.

During the Q&A session, when a question was asked on what trend in mobile advertising looked promising, Sonkar said, "I think voice is equal to the power of radio. It has a strong pull." Verma felt that there was a lot of potential in AdRBTs, while Patni spoke about data and graphics.

Malik said, "You have to make consumers consume media on the mobile before thinking of mobile advertising."

Mobile Conversations 2008 in Bengaluru was presented by afaqs! and MyToday in association with mKhoj.