A rather disappointing session on Mobile Marketing, at the IAMAI Mobile VAS Conference, though it started off with the right agenda – with Vijay Shukla, Country Head (India) for ValueFirst, playing the devils advocate: “Projections for the next year leave us with a lot of hope, but every year, we hear that next year will be the big year for mobile marketing.

Unfortunately, it was a discussion that flattered to deceive – mentioned were the same mobile user growth trends, relevancy of the mobile business in India…frankly, not much discussion followed on what needs to be done, not many details of the challenges faced. One issue that was raised by the Suresh Narasimha of TeliBrahma, who suggested “Lets not undercut each other on pricing”, and mentioned issues with not adequate skillsets. Virgin Mobile will roll out more advertising funded services in the next few months, Prasad Narasimhan, CMO of Virgin Mobile mentioned. On the marketing front, he said that they “are going to colleges and create digital interactive platforms for the youth. We’re trying to create two-way communication – bluecasting is a part of that. It’s about trying something, prototyping it and then scaling it up.” He emphasised the need to build models and prototypes, and scaling those that work.

Gaurav Mishra, COO of Guruji suggested that Mobile Marketing (on WAP) today is at the pre-search state of web – and from a search paradigm, we need to figure out where the money is going to come in from. Milind Pathak Co-CEO & Country Manager of Buongiorno suggested that mobile marketing needs to be a long term initiative, not a short term play; alluding to what he had detailed at Mobile Monday in Delhi, earlier last month.

@IAMAI MVAS Conference – Our Complete Coverage
Too Much Mobile Marketing Hype; “Lets not undercut each other on pricing”
Why MMS Failed; Paid Vs Free Push SMS Services
“What’s in a Game? It’s All In The Name”; Only 2-3 Players In Mobile Gaming In India?
“Opportunity for a bank to become an MVNO” – Ravi Shankar of Yes Bank
Consumer Segments & Content; Ad-Funding vs Ad-Subsidized