Some of the world’s largest brands, agencies and publishers gathered to discuss the future of the industry at the Mobile Marketing Association Forum India (MMAF) from 04 – 05 September, 2013. This year’s Forum was held at the Leela Kempinski Gurgaon, bringing together 200 delegates and speakers from across the country and the region, to make connections and discuss the future of mobile, in line with the event’s theme of ‘Deconstructing Mobile.
MMAF India 2013 included representation from companies like Airtel, Coca Cola, GroupM, Hindustan Unilever, MadHouse, Marico, United Breweries Limited, and WPP besides others.
Commenting, Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association, Asia Pacific, said: “MMAF 2013 India has been a great success, providing a much-needed platform for the delegates and speakers to share their knowledge and insights into what mobile means for brands. With mobile being the fastest growing component of overall marketing spends, this is an exciting time for the mobile marketing industry. The discussions over the last two days, and the research released during the event indicate that the Indian Mobile Internet user is evolving becoming increasingly sophisticated. It is evident that in order to connect with these consumers, marketers need to give mobile priority. The power and prominence of mobile is not to be ignored.
The Forum kicked off with a full day of workshops facilitated by industry experts and leaders, who shared their top tips and guidelines on implementing a sustainable mobile strategy and working with new technologies such as rich media and mobile video. The interactive workshops gave participants the opportunity to learn first-hand about mobile consumer engagement and mobile measurement through presentations and hands-on activities.
The highlights of the second day included Wasim Basir, Director – Integrated Marketing Communications, Coca-Cola India who talked about how engaging with the consumers is going to be of paramount need and the best way to link up with and engage with consumers via their mobile devices. This sentiment was echoed by Atit Mehta, Head Media Services – South Asia, Hindustan Unilever Limited who stressed the fact that as the future unfolds, mobile will be the centrepiece of all marketing communications. Rajiv Mehta, Managing Director, Puma India shared how Puma is connecting with new-age consumers by incorporating mobile, while Aditya Save, Head Digital Marketing and Media, Marico highlighted how mobile changes everything and said that “still the best social network is an Indian woman with a mobile phone.” Tomi T Ahonen, author, consultant and motivational speaker held the audience spellbound with his content on international case studies and forecasting the Microsoft – Nokia partnership said, “Microsoft market share will go down in the short term as they are in transition.” The event featured Narayan Murthy Ivaturi, GM –Global Sales & Strategy at VServ. mobi explaining how new media channels become ‘established’ only when all custodians: consumers, publishers, brands, and agencies adapt to the change and start to benefit from the new media landscape.
Other highlights included Arun Sharma, Vice President Marketing, Head Media, Bharti Airtel Limited shared Airtel’s experience as one of the leading operators in mobile marketing, looking to convert itself into an enabler that provides solutions for daily marketing needs. Samar Singh Sheikhawat, Senior Vice President Marketing, United Breweries Limited spoke about the importance of Mobile in United Breweries’ marketing strategy.
Two industry reports were also released at MMAF India 2013, including the second iteration of MMA’s Mobile Ad Spends India Report, powered by exchange4media, which showed that mobile ad spends in India recorded an unprecedented growth of 60 per cent to reach INR 300 crore, and are predicted to grow over 43 per cent in 2014. The Mobile Internet Consumer 2013 Report developed by Vserv.mobi, in partnership with the MMA, is aimed at brands and advertisers, delving into the demographic profile of the Indian mobile user and consumer behaviour on mobile.
MMA is emerging as a powerful platform where all relevant players wish to connect and take the mobile marketing industry to the next level. Using the same platform, another pioneering initiative was announced – the launch of M2X, a US$3.3 million (INR20 Crore) fund by the Affle Group, a leading smart media company, in association with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA). M2X or Mobile 2x is set up to enable brands, publishers, agencies, app developers and entrepreneurs to create mobile assets, increase mobile ad spends and promote development of innovative technologies in emerging mobile markets with particular focus on India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore.
Airtel also launched one of the most innovative products in India in the mobile marketing space which is a sponsored sms which can be used to gratify customers with free sms and the sms gets tagged to the brand’s messages. Launching this at the MMA Forum, Airtel gave 10 free messages and got tagged with the MMA message to say that the person was present at the forum. Example: the sms followed by: I was at MMA Forum. Twitter.com/mmaglobal. Through this initiative the social engagement of the brand gets enabled amongst the target audience on the social network.
The event concluded with an awards ceremony for the prestigious second SMARTIES™ India 2013, recognising innovation, creativity and leadership in mobile marketing from across the country.
Winners came from across a broad range of industry segments in India, including FMCG, retail, automobile, ready-to-drink beverages, telecommunications, and quick-service restaurants, amongst others.
Commenting on the 2013 SMARTIES™ India Awards Winners, Rohit added,“I would like to congratulate all the award winners who put forward a very strong range of entries, demonstrating the exceptionally high standard of mobile marketing talent, innovation, and creativity we have in India. I would also like to give thanks to the delegates, partners and sponsors for their participation in MMAF 2013 India.
The Mobile Marketing Association Forum India 2013 was held in partnership with Vserv.mobi, Madhouse Mobile India, Digital Quotient, Nimbuzz, Millennial Media, Times Mobile Limited, Opera Mediaworks, AdlQuity, Affle, iAvatarZ Digital, TELiBrahma, Vuclip, exchange4media, and 24 Frames Digital.