City, General, Work

Separating the Sound from Noise: Internet in India

Useful. The recent post: Mostly Mobile: How the Internet Is Consumed in India [INFOGRAPHIC] provides a useful analytical quantitative insight into the Web adaptability, usage, and mobile penetration in India.

Image via Susan Wallace with laptop and village children

But a careful comparative analysis of the figures – brings forth a few details, which are not very encouraging. Especially, for people crying out – “India Zindabad!” in comments section – without actually going into the insight 🙂

E.g. Here’s a few things that came to my mind:

1. Lets not look at the numbers – but percentages and comparative analysis with any Developed (OECD) nation completely renders our data useless. India has 8% Internet Penetration, with even worse, 3% Social Network Penetration, whereas, the Mobile Penetration is at a whopping 71%. This technically is a massive miss-match from the worldwide figures. In fact, this 71% data is of no use to a company or brand(s) Online or Social Media marketing initiatives in India, since the majority of this 71% comprises of less than INR 2,000 basic mobile phone sets, by Nokia (once dominating worldwide sales owing to India exclusively). Thus, if I am the CMO of a top Indian brand and wish to create a special plan for mobile apps and initiatives/strategies, do these figures convey the correct message? Technically no. Even running CPM Banner ad campaigns on these mobile sets is impossible! Can they run flash games? HTML5 apps? Technically – no.

2. 20,00,000 people use the Net in India every day. The point is not – what number uses the Internet every day. But the data:

  • % of the people from this 20,00,000 using the Net for entertainment, education, search, downloads, shopping. This is data, saying, 20M uses Internet is Information.
  • % of the people from this 20,00,000 using the Net at what times. Preferably. This can be extremely significant for key decision makers for assigning budgets in campaigns, and during Product launches.

3. 31% of Rural people have never heard of Internet. Now, that’s a f-shocker. The Indian Government needs to take a look into this. Meant for them, not for us.

4. Social Networking sites figures are definitely useful. Orkut is still big in India. But from my past experience, the ROI on any social media campaigns from Facebook is > than Orkut. Orkut mostly is filled with the social strata of the working, middle and lower-middle class in India. Facebook dominates the Youth, predominantly – Tier1 and Metropolitan cities. LinkedIn must be overjoyed with the Indian activity – and am confident has India in the Strategic Plans for 2012. With over 1.2 Billion population and the booming (and sometimes collapsing) job market – India is the future destination of all high-quality, high-paying, and even niche jobs. This means – more registrations, visits, activity, CPM/CPC campaigns from companies and thus, more revenues.

5. Facebook demographics is extremely useful for brands that are related to the Youth of the country. Predominantly – FMCG, Travel & Tourism, Fashion, Clothing & Apparel industry – targeting the predominantly, 18-34 age group of men and women in India. But out of all Facebook users in India, 72% are male with remaining female – kinda is fine with me. Since, though the female numbers are lesser, technically, they make up with the Social Media and Networking activity they often show on Facebook. If 10 males with 10 friends each share 1 post 10 times in a day, am sure, 2 females with 1000 friends each, share similar 100 posts in less than 1 hour. My feed is full of my ‘female’ friends sharing, arguing, writing, quoting, and poking each other. 🙂

6. Top Facebook Pages in India. This is an important slide. Are these merely ‘strong brands with Facebook presence‘ or ‘really social companies who are reaching out to their Fans‘? This is my most important question here. Any highlights here would be great. Once thing is clear – CRICKET is a passion in the Indian sub-continent, and top 3 in 10 are CRICKET related. Not surprising. Another great shocker for me here is:

  • Tata Docomo – without doubt has the worst telecommunications network in India. Coverage is pathetic. But they are at the top with Likes – mostly obtained from the ‘Jeet Ki Ghanti’ campaign.
  • Kingfisher – rightly so. The page is awesome.
  • In Apparel & Fashion – Shoppers Stop is rightly there. Awesome ‘Facebook-Initiated-Selling’ F-commerce app.

Overall definitely positive looking numbers – but far from what you would expect for a country trying to break shackles and compete with China in IT domination. China is light-years ahead of us, and right so! India still needs to keep growing for forth-coming 10 years or so before another comparison with China is comparable!

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