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July 31, 2011, 10:32 am UTC
Banking and telecom sectors are slated to change branding, advertising and marketing professions, far more than anyone can imagine today
A recent report by Boston Consulting Group states that payment and other banking related transactions through mobile phone in the country is expected to touch $350 billion by 2015. This would result in banks, telecom operators, phone makers and service providers earning a fee to the tune of $4.5billion.
The BCG report, ‘Digital India – The rush to mobile money: madness or masterstroke?’ states that, “It is far less costly to offer banking and payment services using mobile technology than to build new (bank) branches in a country that, outside of major cities, is still largely rural… Mobile-enabled business correspondents, who are authorized to conduct business on behalf of banks, can serve a customer for eight to 15 cents per transaction, far below the $1.0-1.5 cost at a branch.”
Though at the face of it, the news seems to be only for the banking and telecom sector, who are readying themselves to have the biggest share from this pie, the news has implications for branding, advertising and marketing professionals as well and will impact these branches far more than they know it.
Mobile phones today are almost ubiquitous even in a poor country like India. The capabilities of mobile phones have also been steadily increasing while their prices fall drastically. What this means is that tomorrow even the cheapest phones would have the capacity to carry applications that will allow users to make payment and other financial transaction using their phone. This, changes the role of branding, advertising and marketing drastically, much more than these professionals can anticipate right now.
Today, the prime role of an ad or marketing campaign is to inspire a customer to choose that product over another when they are ready to buy a product. There is thus a time lag between a customer seeing an ad for a product and finally buying that. That time lag has reduced for some with the internet as consumers who if they see an ad and like the product, can go to the web and instantly buy it by making online payments.
However, what payment gateways through mobile phones would do is give way to a more impulsive way of buying for anyone with a mobile phone. Imagine this: a customer taking a walk by a park, sees an advertisement of some product that he or she wants to buy. While in the traditional world, he’d perhaps have to wait till he gets home to go online and buy it, all he would now need to do is perhaps take a photo of bar code displayed on the advertisement that would take him to the site of the product on his phone directly.
There, after a minute of surfing, he can proceed to confirm payment directly through the secure payment gateway on his mobile phone’s banking application. Thus, in less than two minutes of seeing an advertisement he has made the purchase, making traction time to be one of the smallest possible.
This will obviously change the entire intention and purpose from advertising and marketing that has to get more creative and would require inspiring an impulsive tendency in the target audience, more than just give him a good, trustworthy feeling about the brand. This obviously would change advertising, branding and marketing as we know it today. It is for this reason that professionals dealing with these fields, need to keep themselves abreast with the latest developments in the banking and telecom sector. Their world would soon be turned around quicker than they expect.
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