The difficulties and opportunities in monetising mobile – Sandeep Amar at #SESND

One of the most interesting sessions on Day #2 of the SES Conference, New Delhi was on ‘The difficulties and opportunities in monetising mobile’ by Sandeep Amar, Vice President, Mobile Marketing at One97.

Sandeep started his talk by presenting a lot of mobile-related statistics, such as that smartphone sales have overtaken PC sales, and tablets sales are expected to exceed PC sales by 2015 as well. The time spent by people on smartphones has seen an exponential increase, and people who see advertisements on their smartphones are twice as likely to interact with them. A total of 46 billion apps were downloaded this year, of which 89% are free.

With such indicators of the mobile revolution, it comes as no surprise that monetisation is the most-discussed aspect of mobile. Here are some of the key takeaways of the session:

  • Mobile monetisation strategies have to be conceived at the very beginning. They need to be the drivers of development and design process.
  • A great app (game/content/utility) could ally with a mobile advertiser and integrate the brand attributes in app logic and design. But the first priority should be gaming/usability/entertainment experience. There should not be compromise on the app experience for the user.
  • Two of the major challenges in mobile are: fragmented marketing, and difficulty in tracking downloads.
  • Mobile game developers are the leaders in the mobile app development. This was reinforced by an insightful case study of EA Games’ ‘The Sims’, where the advertisements offer virtual goods for free within the game. Users don’t mind interacting with the product placements, since they get the goods for free
  • Amazon gives mobile developers the ability to sell physical items in their mobile apps using a simple one-click process.
  • Local mobile advertising is the holy grail. But real time, highly relevant, local advertising is not easy, especially not right now; however, hyper local targeting will soon become big in India
  • Couponing is sure to become popular in India once it is available on mobile. People don’t currently like to carry coupnos around. Once it is linked to mobile it is a simple matter of matching offers with consumers, and then letting them discover, purchase, redeem.

Sandeep shared a lot of examples of apps that have done monetisation well such as Metaps, Fancy, Pose, and many more. One thing that all of them have in common in friend integration. Like all things social, the option of seeing which of your friends have interacted with an app, is a major driver.

“Different people with different strengths are able to monetize using various models.” – Sandeep Amar, VP, Mobile Marketing, One97

Stay tuned to @IndiaSocial for more updates on the SES Conference, New Delhi.