Media, Mobiles and Elections

Mint had an article yesterday on how media proliferation and audience segmentation is making the Indian elections a very costly marketing exercise. It had a quote by me on the use of mobiles:

If the Internet helps in reaching out to niche audiences, the other new media, the mobile phone, is more ubiquitous with half the voting population reachable through it. The number of mobile phone users increased from 36 million in 2004 to 375.74 million by the end of February, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, or Trai.

There are primarily three different ways to reach voters—through SMSes, voice calls or automated pre-recorded phone calls and GPRS (general packet radio service, a mobile Internet service). “Out of the three, the primary focus of political parties is on SMSes since it is non-intrusive and can help them reach voters directly and in a targeted way,” says Rajesh Jain, founder and chief executive officer at software solutions provider Netcore Solutions Pvt. Ltd.