Why Mobile Should Be An Important Piece of Your Digital Marketing Plan

There is ample awareness about mobile penetration, and an increasing number of users now getting online through their mobile phones. However, there is still hesitation on how real these numbers are and what the audience is doing via mobile internet. Compiled here is pieces of research and reports, akin to those of a jigsaw puzzle, that when put together give a clear idea on how much is the penetration, what is being accessed on mobile internet, why these numbers can go up, where is it going, and which way should your digital marketing plan be headed.

STATUS OF MOBILE INTERNET IN INDIA

pie

According to the last report of IAMAI and IMRB, of the total 150 million internet users in India, there were around 87.1 million mobile internet users till Dec. 2012. What’s more, on an average, a mobile internet user spent about Rs 198 towards internet expenses.

 

In fact mobile internet access had surpassed desktop in November 2012 as per Global Stats data specific to India:

 stat

THE BC WEB WISE EXPERIENCE

In recent (mid-2013) web analytics we have observed that brands and corporates including NGOs, B2C and B2B categories, that are not updated with mobile friendly content get an average of 10 per cent of traffic on websites as well as Facebook. Clients ready with device agnostic pages and content, traffic from mobile is rising and hovering between 20 per cent to 25 per cent.

FUTURE GROWTH PROJECTIONS

According to the latest report of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), till January 2013, the total wireless subscriber user base was 862.62 Mn of which 708 Mn i.e. 82.08% were active mobile users. However, as analysed by GSMA Director General Anne Bouverot, on an average, each user has 2 sim cards and in terms of unique number of subscribers, there are about 380 million actual users – about 26 per cent of the total population.

McKinsey Research forecasts that the total number of Mobile Internet users will increase more than five-fold to 450 million by 2015. Another recent report by Boston Consulting Group stated that the total number of Internet users in India is expected to increase from 125 million in 2011 to 330 million by 2016. The report noted that, at present, around 45% of online consumers in the nation use only the mobile to access the Internet. This is expected to increase to 60% over the next three years.

India’s only official internet and mobile association – IAMAI is the most conservative in the projections expecting the number of mobile internet users reach 130.6 million by march 2014 and 164.8 million by march 2015.

THE CATALYSTS FOR GROWTH

Google and Bharti Airtel are encouraging trials to catalyse the adoption of mobile internet. Airtel mobile customers in India can freely access Google online products, including the first page of a Web site linked from search results. Customers will be prompted to purchase a data pack if they click a second link on the Web site they reached via a Google Search, or if they need to download attachments from Gmail.

Vodafone India recently slashed its 2G Internet tariff by 80 percent to 2 paise / 10 KB from 10 paisa / 10 KB earlier. Vodafone also introduced One Time Trial Packs in April this year for 2G and 3G at very affordable price points of Rs 25 for 2G and Rs 49 for 3G, together with a 500 MB data transfer package. The intent is give its customers a taste of mobile Internet and its advantages at price points that a customer won’t think twice to say yes to.

RURAL INDIA IS RAPIDLY ADOPTING MOBILE INTERNET TOO

A Financial Express feature reported that at eBay India today, every one minute a mobile accessory changes hands and every two minutes a mobile handset. It has 4,306 e-commerce hubs today, of which 1,015 are hubs in rural India, indicating that consumers in the smaller towns of India are a major force in this online growth story.

PRIMARY USES OF OF INTERNET ON MOBILE

According to a study done by Opera the Top mobile sites in India are:

  • google.com
  • orkut.com
  • facebook.com
  • youtube.com
  • getjar.com

An I-Cube Survey in June 2012 reveals a wide range of uses of mobile Internet.

Mobileinternetuses

REASONS FOR USING MOBILE INTERNET V/S DESKTOP

Here is what a device agnostic survey done by Opera Software and On Device Research revealed:

  • 49% of people who are using the mobile Internet either never, or infrequently, use the desktop Internet.
  • India has emerged as the 2nd largest base of mobile only Internet generation after South Africa.
  • For 41% Indians, mobile phone is the only possible way to access Internet

Why Mobile Internet

SMARTPHONE PENETRATION & INTERNET USAGE

If you look at smart phone penetration, and since smart phone users are most likely to access the internet, Mary Meeker’s (partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and former Internet analyst)  latest report on Internet Trends in India suggests that we will have 67 million smartphone subscribers by the end of 2013, recording a 52% growth YoY.

Google India and Ipsos study on smart phone users revealed the following:

– Only 6 per cent don’t use their phones to connect to the web.

– 94 per cent smart phone users use the phones to connect ot the web.

– 56% of smartphone users accessed the Internet multiple times a day

– 40% surf the Net at least once a day.

– 76% of smartphone users in India access social networking sites

– 77% of smartphone owners download/ listen to music,

– 33 per cent use it for download / playing games

– 32 per cent read newspapers or magazine.

PROVIDER’S OF MOBILE INTERNET CONNECTIVITY IN INDIA

  • Airtel 3G
  • Aircel 3G
  • Vodafone 3G
  • BSNL 3G
  • Tata Docomo 3G
  • Idea Cellular 3G
  • Reliance 3G

DOES YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING RUPEE CONSIDER MOBILE INTERNET USERS?

If you are building a website today, but are not planning on revamping it for the next 5 years at least, then you need to prepare not just for the internet user today, but also those who will visit your site over the next five years. If you are doing Facebook marketing, posts may be viewed on the mobile, and have to be optimized for mobile screens. And if you are doing a Search campaign, on the go search is very likely to be the most popular approach from the difficult to reach target consumer, reaching him or her on the mobile may be critical today.

To maximize your ROI, it is time to have a device agnostic approach to your content, creative and media strategy.

Online Consumer Behaviour – Content Planning for Different Digital Touch Points

Consumers behave differently at different digital touch points. The reason why they visit a brand website, and why they follow a brand on twitter can be very different. Planning content by clearly understanding the visitor’s mindset at different digital touch points can help to establish a meaningful connect with them and fostering a long term relationship. Here’s a quick guide to the Internet user’s digital media psyche:

Online Consumer Behaviour

Users on different digital touch points consume content in each for different reasons

The Website Visitor
Is proactively seeking info in your brand domain

  • This visitor has landed on the website primarily when searching for content or seeing a relevant recommendation or post that links to your website, or has come to the website knowing the url (may be a repeat visitor).
  • Is seeking immediate answers if the visitor has come from a search engine, or is curious to know more about you if the visit is not via a search engine. Repeat visitors come for a specific purpose of information seeking or engagement (such as dabbling with an online app or engaging in a forum).
  • Can engage further in the website if her query is addressed and there is relevant and/or engaging content.
Facebook Logo

Users on Facebook Chance Upon Updates

The Facebook Visitor
It Is The Brand That Is proactively reaching out to this user

  • The consumers here are hanging out to check latest updates from friends, family and acquaintances.
  • Chances upon brand updates, comments and likes if relevant, shares when compelling. Sharing happens when the content is Fun/ Informative / Relevant to immediate circle
  • Clicks to know more, visits the URL when relevancy or engagement is meaningful and there is a ‘need’ for such further engagement
Blog Sites

Blog Readers Want Expert Opinion

The Blog Reader
Is proactively seeking an informed opinion of another consumer or expert

  • Reads up a post when she is searching for information, and/or has subscribed to a favorite blogger’s feeds
  • Prefers a second opinion and usually would scan 2-3 blogs before deciding whose opinion is best suited.
  • Would usually scan blog comments before deciding / making the final choice.
  • Is usually someone to whom word-of-mouth or recommendations counts the most.
Forums

Forum Users Seek Peer Opinion

The Forum Subscriber
This user wants mass opinion, what peers have to say.

  • Usually visits a forum via search, may frequent thereafter
  • Possibly wants to ask a question, get opinions.
  • Reads discussions by others
  • May get answers or make an opinion/choice even without posting a query
Twitter

Twitter Users Follow For Updates

The Twitter Follower
Is proactively following to be updated in the subject

  • Twitter has many inactive, and equal number of hyper active tweeple and the occassional users.
  • There are some who are on twitter with a specific agenda: Save time by following people whose tweets give quick relevant updated information
  • Tweeple usually follow more than one area of interest
  • Reaching them is not always easy due to the rapid updates in tweets

However, visibility on twitter can be enhanced by following trending topics, being crisp and juicy, getting the right people to follow you with relevant hashtags, and targeting the right follows.

Linkedin

Linkedin Users Seek Career Advancement

The LinkedIn User
This consumer is seeking ONLY career or business advancement

  • The LinkedIn user is very specifically looking at making a career advancement, getting deals, networking, improving visibility
  • Will join groups that will give relevant networking opportunities or content that will better their career in some way.
Youtube Logo

Youtube Visitors Seek Visual Info/Demos

The Youtube Visitor
Wants entertainment, visual explanations, demos, how to’s

  • Users watching videos online are likely to have opted for video content when searching for related information
  • Or has been forwarded the link
  • Or is specifically seeking video content directly on Youtube for visual relay of similar information that has been read, unless it is entertainment related.
Search Engines

Audience Is Searching For Domain-related Info

The Search User
Proactively seeking your domain information

  • Is specifically seeking information
  • Tries out 2-3 links or more on first search results
  • Finds different combinations of keywords to refine searches till she gets a satisfactory answer
  • Is likely to spend more time searching for the right information, than done on looking up that information!
  • Is also likely to explore related information and content
Mobile Search

Mobile Search Users Are In A Hurry

Search Users On Mobile
Is in a hurry!

The context of searching on the mobile phone is usually on the go, urgent and also a matter of convenience.

Mobile & Tablet Users
On the move, wants quick info, utility tools & engaging apps

  • More savvy users, and the ones with smart phones use the mobile phone for everything: FB, Twitter, Search, Email, etc.
  • Such users also install and play around with applications that are useful, fun or relevant.
  • The tablet owners, smaller in number, but a significant group and an influential audience does all of the above on tablets.

If you plan to use multiple channels on the web to disseminate your brand information, then customizing or fine tuning your content by understanding the customer mindset in each of these channels can help in the forming of long term engagement and loyalty, as well as recall. And remember less is more!