As we all know the Lethargic Indian Politicians [Policy Makers] are procrastinating reforms in the sector. WE expect mobile-based and location-aware advertising to gain popularity. Both push-based display and search-query pull models will continue to grow, in our opinion.

Potential Means of Mobile Advertising in India

Offer free data, minutes or SMS for advertising viewing – 95% of India’s subscriber base is pre-paid and given the multiple-
SIM subs. However, this same large pre-paid base means that Indian telcos are able to offer these price-sensitive users free data, SMS, minutes, etc, in exchange for viewing Ads.

Integrated Billing – Unlike developed markets, credit card penetration in India is rather low. So telcos here have the added advantage of being the centre of any financial transaction, i.e. adding the cost of items/services purchased via the mobile can be added to the subscribers monthly bill or deducted from the pre-paid balance.
Existing marketing plans – through which new services can be effectively advertised. There are several opportunities to advertise in-store, SMS, MMS, customer support, billing, and queries (while your call is placed on hold).
Relationship with consumers – A large base of existing consumers allows telcos to offer advertisers scale.
Local presence – in various circles allows them to leverage their experience of region-specific trends.
Relationship with enterprises – Telcos can leverage their existing customer relationship with local SMEs to build advertising partnerships.

What Advantages does Mobile Advertising Offer ?
Mobile advertising is high on the agenda of a few forward-looking telcos in India. They’ll approach cautiously to prevent alienation of their subscribers or churn to another network or any damage to their brand. Telcos will probably go for opt-in model for mobile advertising. We believe that mobile advertising in contrast to internet advertising offers higher potential and RoI. It offers advertisers:
1. an individual consumer
2. location of user
3. potential for immediate completion of commercial transactions
4. various formats—text, graphics, video, voice and music
5. demographic and preference profile

What is the Current State of Mobile Advertising in India ?
Apart from Regulatory Hurdles, Mobile Advertising has taken off to a slow start due to Handset Eco-System as well as 3G eco-system. FREE SMS Providers were the only successful m-Advertisers until now and due to regulation even that has lost steam. Trials of Pushing Ads through Bluetooth Booths in Retail Malls tasted limited success.

Mobile marketing companies such as Jasper Infotech, Vdopia and Affle, are looking for 3G to open up new avenues. Jasper provides a mobile coupon facility and is tied up with 15,000 retailers. Advertisers were not really excited about mobile advertising because they cannot deliver the brand experience through bland SMSes and WAP banner ads and believe that 3G will allow them to fill the gap.

iVdopia offers in-app mobile video ads from Coca-Cola and others. Another company called Affle India is planning to introduce an application for smartphones which would allow location-based push advertising, e.g. stores to send promotional offers when a consumer enters a mall.