Digital marketing is already making inroads in India with most enterprises dedicating a large chunk of their advertising budget to it. However, most of it is still limited to the desktop format with few willing to take risk and spend on mobile and app-targeted advertising.
“India is the fourth largest app economy but our spend on mobile advertising is just $400m compared to countries like US where it is over a billion dollars. There is a gap somewhere that needs to be addressed and developers as well as companies need to think how to implement this,” says Suhas Gopinath, CEO at Globals Inc and advisor to GMASA that recently held their mobile app summit in Bengaluru to bring players in the app eco-system together.
Since India has had some recent success in hyper-local services, Gopinath says geo-targeting consumers is something every major or minor app player should get into. It involves targeting users as per their location and using.
“India has one of the largest mobile internet user base with a major chunk of it present in non-metro areas. With reduced data speeds and faster browsing, companies need to start targeting consumers who are always on the move,” says Gopinath.
Push notifications and in-app advertising
The biggest stumbling block for app developers are ad-blockers and in-app ads are particularly interesting, as ad-blockers aren’t working there. Meanwhile push notifications are a gamble as they can be voluntarily shut down by the user. Nevertheless marketers need to take their chance to push relevant context.
“That’s the biggest problem with digital advertising, most people get irritated because it fails to be relevant,” says Gopinath. “By targeting the right consumer at the right time with the right proposal, the opportunity is huge for app players,” he adds.
The desktop world is already familiar with this method of targeting users and it has worked wonders for most brands. But on apps and the mobile eco-system this is largely untapped. It’s a tricky domain as players like Apple and Google have been trying to restrict apps from tracking activity. Even though the famous EU case is going on against Google to restrict such monopoly, it may take while before all apps can be level treated as all websites are on a desktop medium.
Until then marketers need to find methods of targeting users that are based on contextual signals. However, marketers when targeting a user, cannot be reaching them out of context. Targeting by where and what someone is reading can be a better fit than targeting simply by where that user has been online and what they have looked at.
“Just like consumers have started to move away from regular television to streaming and online mediums, marketers need to stop splurging on television ads and billboards,” says Gopinath. “By focusing on mobile advertising they could achieve much better penetration in the Indian market where mobile has become the most preferred medium of consumption.” he says.