Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mobile marketing will grow 10-fold in India

India's mobile marketing space, which some analysts estimate at Rs.600 million ($11 million), will grow 10-fold in the next five years, says the Finnish pioneer of the concept.

"Mobile marketing has started to grow rapidly in India as the brands see the opportunities beyond just internet options. My estimation is the marketplace in mobile marketing in India will grow 10-fold within the next five years," Antti Ohrling, co-founder in 2005 of the Blyk mobile marketing company, told IANS in an e-mail interview.

While Ohrling has now decided to move on from Blyk, he plans to maintain a close connect with India, where he introduced the company a year ago and where it has over one million opted-in users and has delivered 40 mobile advertising campaigns.

"I have planned to stay extremely close to India, as the potential really is here," Ohrling said about the country, which has 881 million mobile phone connections. Mobile marketing is a service that subscribers opt for as opposed to pesky SMSes.

"India is a tremendously interesting market and it can change the mobile market also globally."
Does that mean he would now focus on taking the Blyk concept to the next level?

"Mobile is personal, direct, interactive and an always-on channel to nearly 75 percent of the world's population. That's an incredible opportunity to communicate with and do business with the entire world. I believe that mobiles will become the biggest marketplace in the world in years to come," he said.

"Social media and rapidly developing mobile services combined to create totally new opportunities for media, brands, operators and e-business as a whole. I want to explore this new emerging market further. We are only in the beginning of discovering the potential of mobile as the ultimate marketplace in the world," he added.

According to Ohrling, many major companies have banked their hopes on the mobile -- for a good reason.

"Nearly three out of four humans on this planet have a mobile phone, and the number is growing. And at the same time the computing powers of mobile phones are exploding. What a smartphone was four to five years ago, any feature phone today most likely exceeds it.

"The new Nokia dual SIM C2 retailing for around Rs.2,700 ($50) in India connects you to Facebook, Orkut, Twitter, Google, internet, has e-mail, a music player, a radio, a camera...well, you get the picture," he explained.

At the same time, more operators are moving into all-IP network structures, reducing complexity and enabling a much faster adoption of new services and solutions.

"Our social behaviour, fuelled by social network sites, has created a social media frenzy and the media landscape is changing faster than ever. Earned and owned and not just bought media exposures change the way brands communicate with their audiences.

"And now, all this will be powered, with mobility opening a completely new chapter in media business. Mobile internet statistics from the US (already over a year ago) confirmed that majority of the traffic went to social networks. And it has only increased since," Ohrling said.

Noting that mobile is much more than just internet on mobile, Ohrling said deals, coupons and other m-commerce solutions are finally breaking through.

"My prediction is that they will eventually create the biggest marketplace in the world. After all, a mobile is your personal connector to the world and commercial solutions have just been waiting for the right moment and maturity," he added.