Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Internet and Mobile Advertising

A report by IMRB International and the Internet and Mobile Advertising Association of India (IAMAI) estimates that online advertising—including display, search-based and other methods—increased from Rs 425 crore in 2006-07 to Rs 700 crore in the current year. The 250-million mobile user population too makes mobile marketing a lucrative communication channel for brands.

Digital marketing firm Pinstorm estimates that the mobile advertising industry including WAP and SMS has grown from Rs 20 crore in 2006-07 to Rs 50 crore in 2008-09. And while the digital advertising industry has not observed shrinkage its current rate of growth at 24% is slower than the anticipated 35%.

Ask Samsung’s director marketing for South-West Asia YY Kim who’s sold on the benefits of this new age medium. “Online advertising works very well for our technology-based products like MP3 players, notebook PCs, mobile phones, LCD and Plasma TVs. Our online campaign for notebook PCs in November, 2008 was a success as it doubled visitor traffic to one lakh in the following month,” he says. Online advertising comprises 1% of Samsung adspend in India and is likely to grow to 2% this year.

All this spells good news for the scores of startup firms that have emerged around Internet and mobile advertising in India. Aashish Solanki, founder of yet another Bangalore company Net Bramha Studio is among them. It works with other startups to help build their online brand presence from scratch.

“We work for startup companies like Game Kraver, My Piction and Nemo Solutions, helping position them and conducting viral marketing campaigns. It helps them get better ROI,” says Solanki. “Even our big clients like Shell are investing in online advertising.”

Accountability is one of the biggest draws of such tech-based media. “Today every advertiser wants to know where each dollar is being spent and the result of it. In a recessionary time, advertisers move money to more measurable mediums,” says Naveen Tewari, CEO of mKhoj, a mobile advertising firm started two years year ago.

“We have grown 10 times in the last six months and expanded to 25 countries.” mKhoj’s campaign for Reebok involved creating a WAP portal where visitors could participate in a lucky draw to get a phone call from their favorite stars, and also allowed them to locate the nearest exclusive outlet. According to the company’s website, this campaign drove 450,000 visits to the WAP portal, with over 12% of them locating the nearest Reebok store.
“Around 70 to 80 per cent of a brand’s audience can be reached on internet and hence it is up to advertisers, agencies and publishers to churn out innovative ways to address the users effectively. Only then we can hope that the medium can grow faster,” agrees Rahul J Jethva, CEO of Spring Communications, which is also into this space.

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