In a matter of five short years, the mobile landscape in India has transformed from voice and text-based handsets that were finding their way in the remotest corners of the country and in the hands of the most unlikely users, to a market that is talking apps, augmented reality, different kinds of OS and versions of Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and the likes -- in all making India a nation that goes to sleep, and wakes up, with a handset every single day. India is one of the hottest mobile markets at present given the sheer number of handsets and subscribers in the market. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has put active mobile connections of 91.35 crore (913.49 million) in July 2012. This makes mobile one of the most widespread media for any marketer in India. The only question now is: how one taps then potential of this medium.
Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) has over the years observed how this thought process has led to the emergence of a sophisticated mobile ecosystem that is making way for different kinds of business models to thrive – all in the course of fuelling mobile marketing, a terminology that is yet to find its true form even in the most developed markets. The exchange4media Group, given its domain expertise in advertising across media has looked at the mobile advertising space with the same lens.
One of the first challenges that mobile faces in becoming a marketing medium to reckon with, is the absence of a widely accepted metric that can gauge how the medium has delivered for those who have invested in it, and become a currency. MMA and exchange4media agree that not only metrics, but even a sense of overall ad spends in the medium is lacking, which too contributes to hold back spends in mobile. At present, industry estimates for mobile ad spends in 2012 range anywhere from ` 125 crore to ` 225 crore ($22 million to $40 million). In India, most advertisers and agency heads (we interacted and engaged with for to help generate this report) believe that mobile is yet a miniscule portion of total ad spends – hence measuring it is difficult. But like anything digital, mobile is set to grow at a trailblazing pace.