Insights on the Youth Consumer and Mobile Advertising in India

[This is a guest post contributed by Aniketh dsouza, who curated the conversation that happened at the recently concluded Mobile Marketing Association/MMAF2011 event in Singapore]

The post is a result of talk by Antti Ohrling (@Ohrling), Co-founder, BLYK who has a tie up with Aircel in India.

1.6 billion youth worldwide use a mobile phone and from next year 1 of 5 mobile phone users in the, will be in India. Half of India’s population is under 25, 2/3 are under 40 years and are more likely to spend their investments on jewelry, bars, education, discos and just over 50% of Indian youth have accessed net in past three months. Hence mobile was the first medium.

Ohrling pointed out to a video commercial they use, to tell consumers about offers from brands. He also mentioned that they have one million opt-in members and Blyk describes themselves as ‘a messaging media connecting youth’. He then shared with the audience that 5 years ago when they spoke of SMS to Americans, they hated it, today Coca Cola says SMS is number #1 (will come to this in my next curated article)

Insights by Blyk on Youth
The first thing we do wrong when we talk about youth is to define them. Its easy to go wrong trying to define youth. Thus we need to “undefine” the youth! Youth of same age around the world are more similar to each other, than to people of other age in same country. The most important thing for brands to understand youth is to find out what they are up to? Its not about finding out who they are or where they are, its ‘what they are up to’ today (Guess this is where social media research comes in). All info on the past of youth is obsolete. The definition of the youth does not matter as much as to what they are interested in.

Blyke conducted a survey among 25,000 of their youth, here are the results:

  • When asking users about the coolest brands of India. Levis, Facebook, Jockey were top 3 and then came in Reebok, Adidas, Nike and so on…
  • Cool brands for the youth meant value, make me feel cool, cool friends use them, their ads are cool.
  • Blyk asked them if their parents started using a cool brand, would it still be cool? And guess what, 80% of them said YES!
  • The one thing they could wish for were 17% career, 16% happiness & peace, 33% love & romance

Insights on how Blyk Operates

  • Blyk runs a media, does not just serve ads. Blyk in India has 1M opt-in users and they get AVERAGE response rate of 25% (vs 0.2% on internet response rates)
  • They say this is because, they engage youth without defining them. Not by who or where they are, but by learning from them what are they upto. They engage youth in dialogue and thus accurate profiles lead to relevant content
  • Blyk is trying to evolve marketing into open marketing where consumer and brand both co-create experience
  • for which Ohrling quoted Alan Moore @alansmlxl ‘we embrace what we create’. They focus on saying Blyk brand is not ‘our’ brand, it is our consumers’ brand
  • Case Study: user generated content – MakeMyTrip Malaysia. “What is your dream holiday in Malaysia?” This got Blyk 25k in responses from Malaysians!

Marketing Advice for Brands: 1. Listen to the youth 2. Involve them. The rest will follow

  • Start seeing youth less as end consumers but more as product developers and brand ambassadors. When you start seeing youth as brand ambassadors & product developers, they become your most effective marketing asset.
  • Have the youth opinion count, so listen to them. Asking a question via SMS is a simply way of engaging young people on mobile
  • Involve them cause product development *is* marketing
  • Think of Blackberry and BBM – Ohrling cites Blackberry Boys ad in India — and Blackberry users are not just corporates but youth
  • Let the youth decide what your brand can be
  • Focus on multi-screen engagement. Need collaboration across ecosystem
  • From TV to tablets, ‘Ad spend follows eyeballs, eyeballs are shifting to mobile’ Need to monetise data assets. ‘

Antti Ohrling cites -“I hate words like inventory. Who of you want to be part of an inventory?”

» More updates from the event will be shared very shortly.

[The article has been reproduced from Aniketh’s blog]

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