Asian Beat #7: Five Trends Likely to Shape the Indian Mobile Market in 2015

In 2015, the world finally seems to be witnessing the power of mobile. In emerging economies in particular, people have embraced mobile with open arms as it gives them access to services that weren’t available before. In India, according to a report by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB international, the number of mobile internet users is expected to reach 213 million by June this year. More importantly, an impressive 53 million users are estimated to come from the rural areas of India (the remaining 160 million coming from cities).As mobile takes off on the sub-continent, here are the five major trends to looks out for in the Indian Mobile Market in 2015.

1. m-Commerce Is the Future of e-Commerce

During the nascent stages of mobile commerce, we saw e-Commerce players mostly run mobile advertising campaigns based on app installs. Looking at the graph below, we can expect them to shift to product-based user retargeting from an increasing user base, which means deep linking is likely to take off in the process. By targeting customers with specific product ads based on their intent, e-Commerce players can then acquire direct sales rather than just registrations. These retargeted marketing techniques will provide contextually appropriate experience to the users and will enhance the way consumers discover, shop and pay using mobile phones. The infographic below from explains the dynamics of M-commerce growth in India.


2. Mobile Marketing Spending Increases

The ability to target the users with personalized content and contextually-relevant ads will enable marketers to spend more on mobile marketing campaigns. This holistic approach in advertising will help in better conversion rates through mobile marketing. Through cross-device-, location-, and personality-based retargeting, advertisers will report more and more user acquisition via mobile devices. The graph below from depicts that mobile advertising expenditure in India is going to increase fivefold from 2014 to 2017. Expect to see a continued surge in mobile retail spending in 2015.


Mobile internet advertising spending in India from 2011 to 2017 (in million U.S. dollars)

3. Social Apps

Social networks provide personalized and exclusive experiences to users. In the beginning of 2014, many people thought there would be no need for another social app or platform apart from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp. But the emergence of Snapchat, Tinder and Tango has proven that it’s not over yet for the category. According to GlobalWebIndex (GWI) study, in the third quarter of 2014, 83 % of online Indians accessed the Internet via a mobile, resulting in the increased popularity of mobile messaging apps. The report also states that 44% of Indian mobile users prefer messaging apps as the most preferred way to communicate, bypassing even social networks (19%).This is most probably due to the fact that India has the world’s largest youth population of 10-24 year-olds, who love to use social apps to communicate.The idea of integrated marketing campaigns on these social apps is appealing, and messaging apps are starting to partner with e-Commerce advertisers like Snapdeal, Jabong etc., to leverage their platforms as digital stores with a strong social component.

4. Mobile Marketing Beyond Just Advertising

Marketing goes beyond selling a product or getting an app install. Customer relationship management (CRM) is an integral part of marketing. The traditional methods of CRM on mobile like SMS are not as eloquently appealing as mobile display ads and hence the brands will likely move beyond SMS or email. For example, users having just bought a new phone at Flipkart (Indian online distributor) could very well open one of the apps on their phone and get a coupon offer for 10% off on their next buy at Flipkart. Imagine relationship building, even before the phone is even delivered to the user.This phenomenon should grant marketers the ability to stay in touch with customers throughout the process of interaction and across various other channels that they spend time on. It will also help them make smarter decisions in real time, providing a relevant experience.

5. India Loves YouTube

Video is also a rich form of content and a better way to communicate, which is why it is efficient as a powerful mobile marketing tool to reach out to customers.Video streaming sites are very popular in India, especially YouTube. There are 60 million unique users acquired by YouTube every month in the country. Since e-Commerce is the fastest growing industry in India, product review videos are paramount. See this post on The Hindu where Gautam Anand, YouTube Director for APAC talks about how YouTube looks at India as their fastest-growing market. Interestingly, Indian content creators rank among the top five in the world in terms of viewership.The increase of mobile users in India is fueling the growth of mobile users engaging with video content daily.

What do you think is the major marketing trend of the Indian mobile market in 2015?About the Author: