Marketing’ – The dictionary defines it as the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, which even includes market research and advertising. Though this term was coined may be a century ago, the practice surely dates back to the primitive days of our human race. Humans have always been in practice of sharing goods against something in return, which eventually transformed into act of selling as our ancestors grew smarter. As the trade begun and flourished, so did the number of manufacturers and suppliers providing the amount of services. In process of increasing the sale and expanding the reach, we picked up practices to reach more and more individuals. Gradually the act become a custom, people became consumers and practice became ‘Marketing’.
Marketing can be simply defined as the process of getting our message across the masses through a means of communication and in return knowing their (masses) choice. The great minds of our time have worked their toil experimenting with various ways of effectively conveying a message on a broader scale and to gain a reach with intended target group. The ideal message carriers came in form of a real persons (obviously), Newspapers, Print Publications, Radio, Television, Internet and the more recent and magnificent ‘The Mobile’.
Out of all the marketing vehicles, very few offer a 2-way communication to the likes of Mobile, which is unarguably the most handsome, powerful and cost effective means to build a connect with a million individuals. Mobile has leveraged the world of personal communication by bring 24×7 connectivity, granting facilities of internet access, voice calls, messaging apps, multimedia sharing (audio, video, images) and much more easily on the move. It certainly surpasses rest of marketing vehicles with matchless speed, reliability and instant connect delivering a thundering mileage.
Mobile marketing has grown four-fold into a whooping billion rupee industry in India, within a brief span of time. By coupling services offered by mobile i.e. voice call, text messages and mobile apps with zest of creativity and innovation, Brands and Enterprises are now providing their customers instant services, acknowledgements, rewards and a lot more of interactive content right over mobile. Moreover, going beyond the global mobile marketing trends, India has an unique offering too, here brands are even replying back to customers missed calls. Mobile marketing has unveiled a beautiful horizon for marketers presenting a world of limitless opportunities to engage and gratify customers through services of voice, sms, email and mobile apps.
Not so long ago, people walked to banks just to know their account balance or status of their transaction, waited in long queue to make railway reservations, mobbed payment counters to pay their utility bills and so on. Thanks to mobile, today all of this is just a minute away, one missed call and we get an up-to-date account balance on sms, a few taps on mobile screen and we’ll have a reservation for a journey, payment of our utility bills, ordering a meal, renting-a-cab and much more.
Mobile marketing has redefined the engagement between enterprises and its consumers, the former (Brands & Enterprises) have come closer to their consumers than ever before. Today brands have gained access to vital information of their customers, like knowing their location, preferences, dislikes, feedback, frequency of usage and so on. (All this information is of course acquired with customers consent). This knowledge allows enterprises and brands to deliver a better and customized service, easing the connect. Thanks to mobile, consumers are finally receiving a ‘King’ like treatment with tailor made services and round the clock assistance.
Though Indian market took a little more time than foreign markets to adopt mobile marketing services, yet the current growth has been phenomenal. For the very first time sell of smartphones have overtook sell of feature phones in India. The amount of user accessing internet services over mobile has touched 188 million and expected to reach 519 million by 2018 (States a report by Morgan Stanley). Retail markets have quickly shifted from square foot shops to mega byte apps for selling a range of goods and services. Entertainment channels, BFSI, Government, News Agencies, Film Productions, Food & Beverage, Travel & Tourism and every possible industry is turning to mobile marketing services. A midst all of its offering, Indian market still thrives much over Voice and Missed call services.
The characteristics of mobile marketing services have turned it into a hot platform for interaction, enhancing ‘Right here, Right Now’ services. It has highly streamlined many of day-to-day operations and proven to be an absolutely great time saver. Most of its services are offered at zero cost (or minimal cost) for engagement to the end users.
Also, It’s absolutely not about selling products or services over mobile, Instead it’s about offering a warm experience of a brands hospitality. Mobile marketing now dwells into understanding mobile usage habit of target consumers, addressing their requirement and gradually nestling over mobile so that when they (customer) look out, they’re (Brands and Enterprise) right into the spot.
India has a massive mobile phone user base amounting to 800+ million subscribers and increasingly holding stronger roots. Since aim of marketing has always been about letting people know about existence of services, that says ‘there’s a service just for you’, today its done better over Mobile!
As featured over Vikram Raichura’s Blog at Economy Lead.