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Mobile – From Moves to Movement

With Voice, Video and Vernacular re-defining the way we connect with our consumer, mobile is at the centre today. Ankoor Dasguupta takes a look at the evolving movement in India’s mobile space.

The year 2000 - did I think I could book a cab, order any food, book a stay, click DSLR quality snaps and things of sorts like these at the click of a button? No, I didn’t. Globally, the mobile ecosystem hastransitioned from fjords to lakes to gradually become oceans with some prominent paradigm shifts as catalysts with marketing, technology and data science joining hands together to put content of every kind – information, education, entertainment and transaction in the palm of people. For most users, communication & social media apps account for almost half of the time they spend on the mobile Internet. Video apps follow close behind, with user engagement having doubled over the last three years. With Adoption and usage only on the rise, mobile is ubiquitous.

As mobile internet traffic continues to grow (and PC traffic declines), smartphones are in focus in order to find and target relevant audience there and then. In most cases, brands and marketers take to adopting a mobile-first strategy to engage with consumers. Same sentiment even applies to engaging with people for research purposes. In the first quarter of 2019, Dynata observed that 34 per cent of surveys globally were taken on smartphones, 8 per cent on tablets and 58 per cent on desktop/ laptop computers.

Let’s look at the top broad 6 points that leading to the evolving movement in India’s mobile space.

Connecting the Unconnected

The next billion internet users are a part of this movement and this starts with connecting the unconnected. Starting with understanding the barriers to mobile ownership and internet usage along with awareness of mobile internet – a lot of factors are interlinked is observed in depth. Literacy, affordability, safety, security and finally, adoption. People across all tiers are recognising and also being made to recognize the power of internet by various digital skilling initiatives.

Closing the Gender gap

Technology as a standalone is not empowering unless linked with broader policy interventions across social sectors. Looking at the global scene, women mobile phone ownership has increased significantly in low and middle-income countries since 2014 leading to the growing importance of addressing the mobile gender gap. Closing gender gaps in mobile ownership and usage represents an important commercial opportunity for the mobile industry and the GSMA estimates that closing this gap has the potential to add $700 billion in GDP growth in these countries over the next five years. As for India in specific, only around 29 per cent of India’s internet users are women and over the last 20 years women’s enrolment in technical institutions has increased from 5 per cent to 45 per cent. These numbers may be good but could be more exciting if we are all aligned to contribute in some way to this.

Content Creating Emancipation

Content consumers are becoming content creators. Today, everyone with access to a smartphone and internet has equal opportunity to become an influencer of sorts. It is just tapping into one’s potential. Think of the personal stereo, pre-smartphone and pre-flat screen TV era, the content was lesser with limited channels to express a reach. In addition, general public did not have much opportunities to create content. Today, a mobile handset with internet is a powerful ammunition if used in the right manner.

5G

My first found fancy in any ‘G’ word was from the movie ‘Top Gun’, where Maverick (Tom Cruise) was in a 4G inverted dive with a MIG-28. Coming to mobile, when I was a 2G user (yes, the Nokia 3310 times), I wished if we could get just bit faster than that and now think smooth handovers between heterogeneous networks, higher clarity of voice and video, richer gaming experience, high definition mobile TV, higher OTT consumption, higher surfing speeds, better Internet of Things, smart applications becoming smarter, 5G will only make this space more exciting as we wait and watch what decision India takes on allowing Huawei to participate in the 5G trials.

UI, UX, CX – Fine juxtaposition

Companies are building more engaging user experiences for the simple reason that higher engagement is seen as a precursor to business growth.Never before we have seen coming together of UI, UX and CX such beautifully. There are a plethora of examples if you look around and this approach to building strategies will bring in deeper consumer focus with immersive experiences which may lead to some of the existing pricing models to gradually become obsolete, giving way to pure-play engagement driven models and this is only being possible of joining these three functions together for the final impact and more solution driven thinking.

Marketing – Winds of Change – The 3 Vs rolling fast

There is indeed a visible shift in Advertising and Marketing from not thinking only digital, only traditional or only offline. Today, investing in mobile and its experience takes a front seat on the roller coaster ride. The real in-the-moment marketing will not near perfection if not for mobiles. Today, ‘Reach’ is more targeted, more measurable and more dependable. In addition, now even ‘purpose’ driven narratives have taken better shape through the ecosystem with new martech capabilities. It is also important to re-evaluate the compatibility and synergy of your martech stack regularly and I see the challenges of multi-touch attribution as a matter of time. Also, one of the most significant developments in consumer-facing technology has been the snowballing of voice assistants (VA) and voice-activated devices. So, with Voice, Video and Vernacular re-defining the way we connect with our consumer, mobile is at the centre!

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