Mobile ad spend in India is slated to increase by 85% this year – Rohit Dadwal

Hindustan Unilever, Pepsi, Diageo, Nike and Maruti are five Indian brands that I think are doing an excellent job in this area.

The MMA is the world’s leading global non-profit trade association comprised of more than 800 member companies, from nearly fifty countries around the world. MMA members hail from every faction of the mobile marketing ecosystem including brand marketers, agencies, mobile technology platforms, media companies, operators and others. The MMA’s mission is to accelerate the transformation and innovation of marketing through mobile, driving business growth with closer and stronger consumer engagement.

Indiadigitalreview caught up with Rohit Dadwal, managing director, MMA Asia Pacific, to talk about the mobile marketing ecosystem in India ahead of the MMA Forum 2017 event

 Please tell us more about MMA forum and the forthcoming event in India.

 This year’s MMA Forum India focuses on how mobile is being redefined, and how it can be harnessed to catalyse business innovation and transformation around the world. MMAF will gather some of the top leaders in the mobile space across diverse industry verticals, to share actionable insights that marketers can easily put into practice. They will cover upcoming mobile trends, best practices and strategies to maximise mobile’s capabilities to drive business growth, and innovative use cases of mobile marketing. Topics range from machine learning, combating ad-blocking, mobile video, messaging apps and unlocking rural markets through mobile. Measurement and attribution will also feature heavily in this year’s Forum, including how marketers can leverage MMA’s resources and implement multi-touch attribution to accurately determine mobile’s contribution and optimise mobile spend.

In the evening after the Forum, the 2017 MMA SMARTIES™ India Awards will take place. SMARTIES™ is the only mobile marketing award that honours innovation, talent and success in the field of mobile marketing. This year’s Awards received hundreds of entries, reflecting the rapidly growing mobile marketing industry in India. The shortlisted, consisting of 64 nominations across 18 categories, such as Programmatic, Cross Screen Advertising, Promotion, Cross Mobile, Mobile Native, Mobile App, demonstrates not only the promise of mobile but also the flexibility and applicability of the medium. Across all categories, a Gold, Silver and Bronze winner will be announced on 27 October.

You have been doing MMA forum in India for almost 5 years now, what is the significant change that you have seen in last 5 years which you think MMA has initiated.

Today, mobile features more heavily in the marketing strategies of brands in India, and has reached a level of maturity where it is expected to adhere to the highest standards in the advertising world. We are witnessing more open discussion on mobile strategies and best practices across different industry segments, and mobile marketers are now pushing boundaries more ambitiously, while taking greater accountability in their mobile campaigns.

Our continued efforts in India over the past few years have led the way in accelerating the transformation of marketing through mobile. As a global organisation with representation in over twenty countries and a membership base of over 800 agencies, advertisers, technology and service providers, we work collaboratively with the industry to develop and advocate best practices, and lead development of standards.

For example, our MMA Forum provides a platform for industry leaders to share their expertise and elevate the knowledge of mobile marketing across the industry, while our SMARTIES™ Awards highlight pockets of excellence across the mobile ecosystem. We also share best practices through dedicated research on topics such as multi-touch attribution and cross marketing effectiveness, as well as global and regional-led case studies to increase confidence that mobile delivers concrete business results for brands. Collectively, all our initiatives deliver actionable insights and boost understanding of mobile among marketers, while encouraging them to adopt mobile as part of their marketing mix.

What is the size of Mobile Marketing and Advertising globally and how much does India contribute to the total pie. Has the advertising spend changed in last 5 years in favour of Mobile Marketing, are more brands joining the bandwagon now.

 Mobile has become a hot favorite among marketers globally, with global mobile ad spend expected to cross the $100 billion mark in 2017, while mobile ad spend in India stands around $250 million. In India, mobile ad spend is currently estimated to comprise around 50.2% of India’s digital ad spend, up from over a quarter last year and taking over desktop ad spend.

Mobile ad spend in India is also slated to increase by 85% this year, with double digit growth predicted for the subsequent few years – indicating the growing pervasiveness of the platform among Indian users. Indeed, consumers are now spending more time accessing content in micro-moments, and types of content too have had to evolve as a result. In light of this, more brands are hopping on board the mobile marketing bandwagon to better target consumers.

Are brands more receptive now in exploring Mobile Advertising and Marketing. Tell us 5 Indian brands that you think do an excellent job in Mobile Marketing and Advertising.

 Given that mobile has dominated the lives of consumers, brands are certainly more receptive to mobile marketing and advertising. Most marketers recognise the growing importance of mobile and have invested in their move from ‘why mobile’ to ‘how mobile’. However, beyond being receptive, in this cluttered digital environment, brands need a well-defined, long-term mobile strategy that is in line with business goals, and complements marketing efforts across all platforms.

Hindustan Unilever, Pepsi, Diageo, Nike and Maruti are five Indian brands that I think are doing an excellent job in this area. Some of them are on the shortlist of the 2017 MMA SMARTIES™ India Awards for outstanding and creative mobile campaigns.

Kantar IMRB & MMA India Smartphone Usage and Behaviour Report Overview

What can Indian Agencies and Brands learn from Global Agencies and Brands, can it be safely said that Globally Mobile is used in a better manner than in India.

 While Indian brands have generally succeeded in targeting the different consumer segments in urban markets by providing an abundance of content and entertainment via various platforms, there remains room to grow in reaching out to rural marketers. The number of mobile subscribers in rural India currently stands at 499 million, where mobile penetration rate is higher than that of television, making mobile an effective way to connect with the rural masses.

However, marketers face challenges such as lack of infrastructure and 4G, and the highly diverse rural demographics. Marketers therefore need to develop a better understanding of the medium and their consumers, and target different marketers with different content formats. For example, low levels of literacy among rural consumers means text-heavy advertisements may not be effective, and marketers also have to be committed to localising marketing efforts through diverse vernacular languages.

In this aspect, Indian marketers could look to global brands who have successfully adopted their marketing strategies for highly diverse markets across the world. The key to success is knowing exactly how each consumer segment thinks, what they are looking for, and meeting their needs on mobile. In order to achieve this, brands need to first understand the capabilities of mobile and how mobile fits into the media landscape in India.

What are the key trends in Mobile Marketing and Advertising that you are forecasting for next year.

Rise in programmatic adoption

In India, we are witnessing a rise in adoption of programmatic amongst marketers, and growth is set to continue in the coming year. As education around programmatic increases, marketers will be better equipped with the right skills to implement programmatic campaigns. As MMA continues to share best practices among marketers, publishers and technology providers, we can expect to see the ecosystem gradually come together and work more closely to pursue a holistic approach – from standardisation of metrics, setting expectations, to building creative and planning capabilities in order to fill gaps in data quality.

Growing demand for multi-touch attribution

With the growing number of users on multiple screens, it is even more important for marketers to be able to track where they getting the most out of their ad spend. Users in India are fulfilling different parts of their consumption journey on different devices, such as desktop for browsing e-commerce sites but using mobile for the final purchase. 60% of marketers we surveyed identified multi-touch attribution as a top need, and this figure is slated to increase in the coming year.

Capitalising on mobile video

Consumers are increasingly engaging with mobile video, and it is set to be the ultimate storytelling tool next year. In India specifically, the amount of time spent on video content on mobile has increased by 230%. In fact, YouTube has experienced a surge in India with 180 million active users every month. Next year is set to see more brands using mobile video to engage consumers with interactive content. When executed well, mobile video can help brands break into rural markets and grow their presence in established markets.


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