Mobile Advertising’s future: A turbulent drive


According to the recent report by IAMAI, mobile internet users is 150 million right now, which will reach 170 million by March 2015. Evidently, mobile plays a very important role in the advertising industry. For` Facebook, PC only users is around 18m. Whereas mobile only users is 64m. Clearly mobile is seeing a huge growth in terms or users and in terms of revenue. “Internet rates are becoming more affordable while services are being defined which people are looking to access”, said Nilay Arora, Country Head, WeChat India. The increase in quality of mobile applications is driving the growth of mobile internet users.“The question is not how big the ecosystem is, the question is how to unlock it”, says Tushar Vyas, Managing Partner, GroupM.  Tushar further adds, “The people who are driving the ecosystem right now are the people who are directly benefiting from it.” In the recent times, performance advertising has taken over in the marketing industry, being a specialised type of advertising. Parul Bhargava, Co-Founder, vCommission, discussing challenges faced by performance advertising firms, adds “The main challenge we face is when monetising starts happening. When the evaluation of uninstalled rates, conversion rates starts happening, as a measurable platform, these are our daily challenges.” Uninstalled rates, reengagement rates and conversion rates are really important as they assure relevance.”Mobile influences transactions or downloads in direct ways, which are not very obvious. Put yourself in the shoes of the user. You may look at the product on the mobile but you may not transact immediately. You would rather go another device and transact on that. Thus ROI from mobile should take into account the direct as well as the indirect conversion that mobile is driving for you.” adds Kunal Soni. And still, most commerce players claim that more than 50% transactions are processed through mobile. So clearly they are more performance driven. As far as performance advertising is concerned, the main reason organisations are looking forward to it is that they clearly know the spend, help in rankings and ROI is also measurable.

As far as measurement of impact is concerned, performance advertising has covered it. But Programmatic advertising throws a whole new set of challenges. “It’s a way of buying and there is a real-time dimension to it, otherwise fundamentally there is no change to it.” says Tushar Vyas, on Programmatic advertising. Google is an entity which has been practicing programmatic advertising for the last two years. Google Head of Performance, South East Asia and India, Kunal Soni says “Programmatic advertising does not make sense for everybody at the same time. It’s a huge opportunity as far as target marketing is concerned, but organisational objectives and the current scenario should be considered well before adopting programmatic advertising.” Programmatic advertising has a great potential if targeting a specific campaign and not the general market. Brands increasingly need to explore more platforms and bring relevance to those platforms.

One of the biggest problems advertisers face is the users not wanting to see the ad. User attention is going away from the visible banner advertising and more and more users are consuming services with are native in nature. As quoted by Nilay Arora, “Push Notification is THE thing that is grabbing your attention right now.” He further added,”Push Notification is contextual and it’s something we all have gotten used to right from the old SMS days.” Digital advertising has become more target oriented and the scenario will be different in the future in the advertising industry. Although nevertheless the need for a handful of big and attention grabbing advertisements will never die out. Banners have done well in the past and may reduce, but not die. Interestingly, Parul Bhargava pointed out that the apps which normally do well in the market whilst not advertising, fall out once it starts advertising. The relevance of the content should always be the focus, irrespective of the form in which the message is showcased.

In 2015, brands should look forward to bringing new platforms, exploring the existing ones and looking for value beyond performance.


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“Thinking Aloud” reflects the emerging trends and varied outlook of the rapidly evolving internet and communication sector. An IAMAI publication, this is a part of the market education initiative of the association.

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