The digital story in India has evolved over a period of time, today home desktops do not mark the digital development of an individual but it has shifted to the mobile handset that is owned by the individual. Communication through mobile devices is gaining preference as interaction through the PC is declining.
In India, mobility is emerging as one of the most prominent trends in the Indian digital community as the country is becoming a mobile-first screen. The first owned device of a user is a mobile phone now. Further, “To touch base with users in Tier II and Tier III cities it is crucial that the brand develops a mobile optimised website for the consumer. It is challenging to reach this part of the population through PCs or laptop,” said Nitin Bawankule, Industry Director at Google India.
According to a research by GroupM titled ‘India Digital Playbook 2014’ which evaluates the trend of the Digital Industry in 2014 says that more than 180 million users have accessed the internet though mobile devices while only six million have tapped on tablets. The total consumer base has been recorded at 450 million with 41 per cent as mobile only against 21 per cent at PC only.
Following the unparalleled reach of mobile in India, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India reports that mobile subscriber base stands at 914 million in urban areas as against 377 million in rural India, as on June 2014. The penetration of the mobile media is greater than other means of traditional media. Mobile has seen 5.3 times growth in 2013 against 2012.
Going forward, we need to see how intelligently marketers use the power of the mobile medium in their marketing strategies. The reports points toward five key reason as to why marketers and advertisers cannot ignore the growth of this medium.
Mobile internet helps the marketers reach a completely new audience base who have never accessed the web media through any other device. This offers immense opportunities for the marketer. Secondly, 56 per cent of smartphone users are online daily and have multiple sessions. The research suggests that there are more mobile page views as against PC page views on an average. Almost 50 per cent of the people access Google and Facebook services through mobile device.
Also opportunities in the mobile domain allow the advertisers to reach the users between the age group of 20-34 years which makes it impossible for the marketers to ignore the demographics of mobile media. Mobiles also give the unique targeting option which is accurate up to the location and the device used by the potential consumer.
The report also pointed out that mobile works as a bridge between real and virtual world. Mobile users are increasingly accessing the internet services to scan information about products and compare prices in real time while they are in store.
Among most of the dominant features of the mobile services that will guide its growth in the years to come is that, “Mobile internet will undoubtedly become the superhighway that connects rural India to the world as it brings in immense opportunities for agriculture, handicrafts and other traditional industries in India.”
Marketers need to dig deeper to internalise the benefits of mobile internet and make it an integral part of their marketing mix to reach a wider consumer base in rural and as well as urban India. Market experts suggest that if a brand has not created a mobile optimised website for its product or a mobile application, it is under the threat of losing consumers.