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Prepare for rise of influence driven content, regional & voice ads, say experts

The Mobile Marketing Association India (MMA India), in collaboration with GroupM, recently launched the third edition of ‘Mobile Marketing Ecosystem Report 2020’. According to the report, India’s Internet user base is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 10 per cent from 2019 to 2023. As of Q1 2019, India has an active user base of 451 million, while the Internet penetration hovers over 36 per cent. The report further states that the global smartphone devices are estimated to be around 3.8 billion. While China has the most number of active smartphone users, India stands at 2nd position with 502 million smartphone users. 

Based on combined learnings, local expertise and market insights, this report looks deeper into where mobile marketing stands today, what has led us here and what the future holds. 

Also read:
OTT players to invest Rs 2.5 bn in content creation & distribution: MMA-GroupM

There has been a significant rise in the number of individuals accessing the Internet through their phones and today, this number has grown to 99 per cent. The mobile device has become a central part of our connected lives – right from controlling features in a car, streaming TV, connecting with friends on social media, to on-the-go entertainment. 

The report also highlights the rise of the OTT industry. With more than 30 OTT players and 10 music streaming apps in existence catering to various entertainment and media demands, Indians are prone to consuming content across an array of digital formats and platforms. At this rate, soon, the focus is bound to shift towards the monetisation of content. 

The report states that identifying an immense potential for original content, OTT players are estimated to make hefty investments of approximately Rs 2.5 billion for content creation as well as distribution. 

Industry Speak 

Commenting on the findings of ‘Mobile Marketing Ecosystem Report 2020’, Bharat Subramaniam, Managing Director, Big Trunk Communications, said, “As we welcome a new decade that opens doors to new possibilities in the digital marketing arena, the success of most campaigns in 2020 will possibly depend on how relevant content reaches out to the right target audience by leveraging the power of mobile marketing.” 

He sees 5G presenting new opportunities. With the dipping data tariffs and an increase in the number of entertainment sources on mobile platforms, the three Vs – Videos, Vernacular content and Voice search – will play a vital role in defining organisations’ objectives. 

In a similar vein, Vivek Pandey, VP - Revenue Strategy & Analytics, Times Internet, said, “The MMA-GroupM report corroborates our belief that Indians are consuming content across an array of digital formats and platforms to meet their entertainment & media demands. As one of the top 3 advertising platforms in India, we believe in the promise of 3Vs, i.e. voice, video and vernacular, will fulfil the needs of this mobile-first audience. This shift in consumption trends with original and Indic content on OTT platforms driving significant demand would overhaul multiple martech business models, with automation and artificial intelligence making the processes more efficient.” 

Karan Gupta, CEO, Alchemy Group, too, agrees that affordable smartphones and tariffs along with a plethora of accessible broadband providers have, in many ways, contributed to India’s growing mobile ecosystem and has led the country to become a ‘mobile-first consumption’ market. 

Mobile Advertising 

Gupta further said, “Mobile advertising has now gone beyond the traditional formats and content marketing through storytelling formats have taken precedence even on mobiles. This rise in demand for mobile advertising through content has also paved the way for tech innovations in the content development industry.” 

According to Subramaniam, “Rich media formats with a short shelf-life will change the way authentic content is consumed by audiences and Artificial Intelligence will be the differentiator to incorporate Contextual Targeting, Native Advertising and Personalisation for weaving impactful brand stories.” 

Agencies will also have to look at AI-powered tools like contextual image recognition and text analysis to combat ad frauds, especially when it involves KPIs related to impressions and clicks. 

“As India is marching ahead at a brisk pace to become a diverse mobile-first country, using innovative mobile advertising strategies through e-commerce, gaming and OTT platforms would bolster the penetration of your brand across geographies,” Subramaniam added. 

The Content Ecosystem 

However, no matter how far we’ve come in this age of digitalisation, we cannot the fact that content will still be the king going forward. 

As Subramaniam noted, “Over the years, we have realised that learning from experiences and adapting to the changing trends of mobile marketing is essential to present content to your customers in the most effective way possible.” 

Alchemy’s Gupta sees a considerable shift in the way the content is being consumed. “Influence driven content, regional and voice ads along with the many other formats will see a rise in the next 5 years,” he predicted, adding, “This is definitely the time for brands and marketers identify this opportunity and tailor their marketing strategies to deliver content which the audience would consume and engage with.” 

According to Times Internet’s Pandey, “In this new era, the metrics that matter would be output metrics like brands and sales metrics that help gauge a brand’s incision on the minds of their target audience. Ad fraud is another concern that must be addressed to capture real value from this explosive growth in content consumption. Leveraging first party data through direct buying from technically mature premium publishers like Times Internet is the way to go in this post-3P cookie era.”

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