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Beyond ring tones and wall paper... mobile marketing matures!

From the sidelines of CommunicAsia in Singapore, we bring you two authoritative voices from the industry, on the promise and challenge of mobile marketing in India – and the region.

One heads the Asia-Pacific office of the global not-for-profit organisation representing over 700 players in the mobile marketing business. The other represents the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network.
IndiaTechOnline spoke Rohit Dadwal, Singapore-based Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association APAC and to Piyush Shah, Vice President & head of InMobi Smartpay, soon after they took part in the CommunicAsia 2011 conference. Rohit spoke at the conference on Mobile Value Added Services (VAS) and conducted a mobile marketing workshop. Piyush was part of a panel on mCommerce and how the mobile wallet will empower emerging economies.

With over 65 million users in India, Internet-enabled, mobile marketing could be a great opportunity—provided the content consisted of subtle messaging and not just hard sell, Rohit felt. Customers appreciated genuine mobile-driven services but resented unsolicited messages which the tended to classify as intrusive spam. Marketers needed to appreciate the fine line which separated the two. Rohit pointed to some of the tourism-centred mobile advertising during the 2009 football World Cup in South Africa, which got it just right, extending awareness of the host country, to some 850,000 visitors from 84 countries – an effort which would have otherwise cost millions of dollars.

Piyush Shah pointed at InMobi’s recently launched SmartPay solution which enables application developers, mobile gaming companies, and content providers to tap into the $200 billion mobile content and virtual goods market. He explains that for developers Smartpay offers a single-set-up, single point of integration with access to multiple countries and operators billing systems. This allows them to expand their business and monetize easily across the globe. For the end customer, this translates into a simple mobile checkout system with hassle-free, secure, direct-to-carrier billing.
“How to monetize their innovation or application is always a challenge for developers” says Piyush, “ SmartPay should help them make it happen, with a secure mechanism that ensures a convenient carrier billing system”.
The solution has already found clients in 10 countries including India. Mobile commerce has to move beyond ringtones and wall papers to a new era of virtual goods, he feels.
The latest edition of InMobi’s Mobile Insights Report – Asia Pacific Edition, noted a 10% increase in the Asia Pacific mobile ad market from January to April 2011.The report also that found Android ( with 1.7 billion impressions) surpassed iPhone OS in Asia Pacific for the first time, capturing 9.5% share of regional ad impressions. India with 41.6% impressions dominates Asia Pacific on the InMobi network. (Infograph and link to full report:  )
The Mobile Marketing Association has just published “Getting Started —A Brand Marketer’s Guide to the Mobile Web and Mobile Apps”. It shows marketers how they can combine mobile apps and the mobile Web to create campaigns that are more effective and have greater reach than if they used only one of the channels. The 14-page white paper covers topics such as: The three main app types: branded, media-related and mobile shopping/commerce; the four main types of mobile websites: branded micro and landing pages, corporate, media and commerce; a comparison between apps and the mobile Web in terms of audience overlap, strengths, challenges, features, demographic considerations and user experience; tips for building consumer awareness of mobile apps and mobile Web offerings; monetization opportunities and considerations, including freemium, paid and ad-supported models. Here is a link to down the PDF 

July 2 2011