Mobile advertising gaining popularity, says a Nokia study

By Khushboo Tanna , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | February 09, 2009
Nokia organised a panel discussion, which aimed to find out about the popularity of this medium in India

Nokia held a panel discussion on 'Why mobile advertising matters in India' at Hyatt Regency in Mumbai on February 05, 2008.

The discussion started with D Shivakumar, vice-president and managing director, Nokia India making a presentation about 'The power of mobile -- The Indian opportunity'.

The & #BANNER1 & # presentation explained how the present generation has gone through four screens -- theatre, television, laptop and the mobile. Shivakumar said that the mobile screen is fast replacing all the other screens. At present, there are 410 million mobile users in the country. This medium is gaining importance, because it ensures that the consumer is always available and the information can reach the consumers when they need it.

He also provided statistics about how much time mobile users spend on specific applications, such as voice (32 per cent), SMS (16 per cent) and browsing (15 per cent).

Shivakumar stated that Nokia India has been innovating in the mobile advertising space. He cited the example of the Nokia and P&G partnership, where the brand message was embedded in Nokia applications, such as games.

Sanjay Kapoor, president, mobile services, Airtel presented a case study on a Limca campaign on the Airtel network in Mumbai. The aim of the campaign was to get the potential consumer to download the Limca hello tune. The Limca banner would be displayed when the mobile user sent an SMS. If the user was interested, he could click the banner to be redirected to the Limca website.

He said that the campaign received 4.6 lakh impressions in a span of just three days, only in Mumbai.

There presentations were followed by a panel discussion. Kapoor was part of the panel, which included Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director, Madison World and Lance Johnson, global head, sales, Nokia Interactive Advertising. Tom Henriksson, head, Nokia Interactive Advertising was the moderator.

Henriksson started the discussion by asking the panellists about the challenges faced in the implementation of mobile advertising. Balsara responded that the main challenge is to get an operator to express interest in a mobile campaign.

Kapoor, on the other hand, felt that the main challenge is the knowledge about the medium, since mobile is a nascent medium in the country.

Johnson spoke about the tremendous opportunity in this area. He said that the key is for all the parties, such as advertisers, mobile operators and media houses, to work together. He reiterated the fact that the highest usage of mobile was for voice and SMS.

Kapoor felt that the operators have an advantage of being able to create high-quality profiles of the consumers and target them based, on the usage.

Balsara added that an intelligent media player would understand the importance of mobile in 360-degree communication.

Panellists also spoke about the challenge of sending messages when consumers need that particular information, since most mobile advertising is perceived to be spam.

Henriksson then asked the panellists to suggest changes that could be implemented in this space.

Kapoor replied that changes were required in the way the medium is measured, because that will help determine more accurately how a certain campaign has fared.

The panellists concluded that there is strong potential in the mobile medium. What is required is the correct knowledge to take advantage of this medium.

Nokia India also unveiled the findings of a study on the consumption habits of mobile web users in metros in India. The study was undertaken in association with TNS India, with a sample size of 3,500 consumers across 15 metro and tier 1 cities.

The findings show that more users are looking for new product information via the mobile web (28 per cent) than the traditional web (26 percent).

Also, 92 per cent of mobile users in metros access the mobile web when they are at home. Moreover, 56 per cent users who noticed a banner ad went on to visit the mobile site of the advertiser and 18 per cent of mobile web surfers said they had noticed a mobile banner ad.

These findings map out consumer mobile web usage in detail and aim to help advertisers and clients target specific categories of consumers.