Understanding the Emergence of Mobile Marketing in India and Positioning Generation Y in India

Dr. Saumya Pant, Adjunct Professor, MICA and Dr. Varsha Jain, Assistant Professor MICA started exploring the area of mobile marketing in India from May 2011. They have published two papers and another two are being considered for publication in reputed journals. The first paper titled, “Mobile Marketing: The Emerging Indian Perspective” got published in International Journal of Mobile Marketing (US peer reviewed journal) in the month of 2011 which was a conceptual paper that positioned the emergence of mobile marketing in India. The authors reviewed several research papers on mobile marketing and realized the paucity of scholarship in India and the imperative need to study it. The research paper proposed the possibility and potentiality of mobile marketing for the marketers who may use mobile phones to advertise their brands and services.

The second paper titled, “Mobile Marketing: Positioning an Indian Framework” was presented in May 2012 in IIM-I research conference and got published in the special issue of Indore Management Journal (IIM-I’s Journal) in October 2012. In this paper, the authors extensively reviewed cases of those companies that successfully used mobile phones to market their brands. The researchers specifically studied only those  companies such as Aircel, McDonald’s, and State Bank of India which used mobile phones to market their brands in India. The researchers wanted to comprehend the application of Indian conceptual framework of mobile marketing in order to understand its effectiveness. These companies primarily targeted the urban young consumers popularly known as “Generation Y”. Generation Y is understood to be flexible in adopting new technology and enjoying using several value added services on their mobile phones. There is not much academic research on Generation Y in India so the researchers had to heavily depend on the research in other parts of the world. After reviewing several scholarly articles, the researchers proposed a framework of Mobile marketing that can be utilized by the companies to market their products to the young audience segment. In this paper, the researchers also described Generation Y as contemporary, technology savvy and impatient. The research showed that these young consumers like innovative, useful and engaging messages on their mobile phones.

Third paper titled, “Conceptualizing and Positioning Generation Y in India: A Case for Mobile Marketing” concentrates on the young audience segment- Generation Y, how it emerged and its personality and media consumption traits. It also focuses on how these dimensions of their personality may be utilized for effective mobile marketing approach. This paper was presented at 21st AMIC (NTU, Singapore) Annual Conference at Shah Alam, Malaysia in July 2012.

Fourth paper titled, “A Comparative Analysis of Mobile Marketing: A Case Study Approach”  aimed to compare the series of case studies that utilize mobile phones to market brands and products in India and compare with developed nations such as US and Germany. This paper has been sent for publication and is undergoing peer-review.

In this domain, Dr. Jain has published a paper titled, “Effect of QR Codes on Consumer Attitudes” in International Journal of Mobile Marketing (7(2), 2012) with  Ms. Sneha Narang (PGP student,  2010-2012). This paper found that QR codes significantly work for high involvement products as consumer need elaborative and comprehensive information to make the purchase decision. This is also true since the prices of these products are high.

Currently, Dr. Pant and Dr. Jain are studying the various elements of mobile marketing primarily focusing on Generation Y. They are planning to understand the composition, aspirations, and motivations of Generation Y in urban India by conducting multiple focus group discussions and in-depth interviews in major metropolitan cities in India. The researchers also want to study the mobile usage patterns of Generation Y so that marketers may effectively position their brands and products to them. This study will be sponsored by Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad.

Following this research study, the researchers aim to study the rural Indian market and the impact of mobile marketing in rural India. This study will open new markets (and audience) for companies to strategize their marketing messages via mobile phones.

After series of publications, the researchers intend to author a book on mobile marketing which will focus on the primary and secondary research to position the emergence of mobile marketing in India and positioning Generation Y. This book will be a result of all the projects that the researchers have been involved in related to mobile marketing in India.