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5 Reasons Why Brands are Looking at Local Language Content Mobile Platforms for Advertising in India Brands are realizing the potential of mobile as a platform for advertising and the idea of leading a 'vernacular' conversation

By Virendra Gupta

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Consider this. When you get hold of this article, there are high chances that you are reading this on your mobile phone. Either, this was a part of the daily dose of news on your mobile, or maybe you've just made a purchase on your favourite e-commerce portal, whatever your need may be, mobile is no longer just a device. It has truly elevated to become a quintessential part of everyone's life. So, what makes it so important?

According to technology consultancy, Counterpoint Research, there are about 650 million mobile phone users in India, and just over 300 million of them have a smartphone. Consequently, the ways in which brands interact with these users has shifted, too. One dominant evolution for consumers has been the growing quest to consume content online while keeping their mobility intact. This apparent integration and preference for digital media and that too on the go is a global trend that no marketer can afford to ignore.

Related : 6 Emerging Content Marketing Trends Every Start-up Needs to Know in 2018

Mounting Scope of Digital Advertising – Deciphering the "Mobile' Component

The increasing penetration of digital media in India is generating enormous opportunities for brands to reach out to untapped audiences in newer ways than before. Brands are fast employing innovative ways to advertise to their audience. As per Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) report titled, "The Indian Digital Revolution', the Indian ad industry stands at INR 55,960 crore and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 11 per cent (2016-2020) to reach at INR 77,623 crore in 2020. Interestingly, digital advertising, which currently stands at INR 8,202 crore, could jump 2.3 times to INR 18,986 crore by 2020, increasing at a compound annual rate of 32 per cent. This growth will be driven by the smartphone revolution and the subsequent spends on digital advertising.

To answer the moot point that why brands are fast realizing the potential of mobile as a platform for advertising – the answer is simple – the ROI on mobile is simply enormous. DAN report acknowledges this trend and clearly states that until last year, 43 percent of the digital media budget was spent on advertising on mobile devices – a whopping INR 3,491 crore. Mobile ad spends are expected to grow at a CAGR of 49 percent to reach INR 11,392 crore by 2020 (60 per cent of the spends share) and is poised to overtake spends on desktops by 2019. If these predictions are anything to go by – it is certain that there has been a tectonic shift in favour of mobile and this trend is here to stay and redefine how brands use the mobile platform to make the maximum noise.

Related : Five Steps to Creating a B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Delving Into "Vernacular Conversation'

Over the last few years, the digital environment has traversed through significant changes. English language is no longer described as "The language of the Web'. The attenuating share of English, on one hand, and increased internet penetration in Hindi speaking markets or regional language markets clearly indicates that regional language internet users are poised to drive the next phase of internet adoption in India. This will be as much as 2.5 times more than that of English internet user base by 2021 as per Deloitte India eighth edition report on technology, media and telecommunications released in Jan this year.

Interestingly, as per a 2017 report titled, "Indian Languages: Defining India's Internet," based on a study conducted by Google in partnership with KPMG, net surfers in vernacular languages have grown from 42 million in 2011 to 234 million in 2016. The report also highlights that nearly, 70 percent of Indians consider local language digital content more reliable than English content. In fact, by 2021, over 201 million Hindi users which form 38 percent of the Indian internet user base are expected to be online. And, nearly 90 percent of them are more likely to respond to a digital advertisement in their local language as compared to English ads.

To put it simply, vernacular conversation is essentially about an overarching trend that implies that a large majority of brands in India are focusing on mobile ads in local language to communicate with its audience in their native language and make an honest attempt to touch the hearts with an objective to create more stickiness for the product/offering.

Related : How Video Content Is Emerging As the Next Big Thing

Evolution of Video Viewership and Domination of Regional Language Video User Base

Be it on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media channel, you can barely scroll through your feed without viewing at least one video. As per KPMG report, 80% of global Internet consumption will be video content by 2019. More importantly, video viewership in India dominated by the regional language user base is expected to catapult even further. Consumers today spend about 50 to 60 per cent of the average time on Hindi videos, followed closely by 35 to 43 per cent on regional content videos with only 5 to 7 per cent on English.

Local Language Content Advertising Supported By Technology Platforms – Bringing a Win-Win Situation for Brands

Many believe that a robust combination of local language content advertising and a technology platform that employs highly disruptive artificial intelligence, deep and machine learning technologies, could take mobile advertising to another level of proficiency as far as targeting the end user is concerned. Local language content advertising aided by technology platforms essentially means a situation when a large majority of technology platforms realize and accept the growing popularity of regional languages except Hindi and embrace these languages including Tamil and Telugu, to name a few and start targeting users in their language through relevant mobile ads. This will help create an environment that ensures that brand communication is done most effectively.

Tapping the Scope in Tier II And Tier III Markets in India

Lastly, it is hard to ignore the level of impact regional mobile ads can have in tier II and tier III markets in India. These are the same markets which are now connected with the rest of the world with the advent of 4G and the advent of low-cost smartphones in India. These people living in the rural areas have disposable income are the biggest receptors of brand communication being undertaken in their native language.

To sum it up, it may not be an exaggeration to say that mobile, advertising, vernacular targeting, video – are and will continue to be the buzzwords for all marketers to be successful in an emerging market like India in years to come.

Virendra Gupta

Founder and CEO, DailyHunt

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