image ofemerging markets

Emerging Markets and Mobile Advertising: Understanding Their Relationship


Imagine this: by 2020, countries including India, Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico will see a combined 2.5 billion people using smartphones. These nations are growing fast, and they're quickly becoming the new hotspots for tech and shopping. Still, it's important to remember that what works for the U.S. might not work here. Reaching these billions of smartphone users takes more than just good marketing. Brands need to really know these places well. They need to understand the culture and tech trends of these emerging markets.
emerging markets

Key Takeaways

  • Emerging markets like India, Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico will have 2.5 billion smartphone users by 2020, presenting immense business opportunities.
  • Mobile advertising strategies that work in the U.S. may not be effective in emerging markets due to their unique cultural and technological landscape.
  • Brands must fully understand the nuances of emerging markets to develop successful mobile advertising campaigns.
  • Overcoming challenges like limited network coverage and rising ad blocking will be critical for brands to thrive in these high-growth regions.
  • Localization, building trust, and staying ahead of future trends are key strategies for effective mobile advertising in emerging markets.

Understanding Emerging Markets

Global advertising market.
Global advertising market. Source: Expert Market Research
It's vital to get how mobile ads work in emerging markets. These are places like India and China where things are growing fast. The term "emerging markets" covers countries improving their economies. This includes India, China, Brazil, plus many in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Limited Coverage and Reliability

In places new to tech, like emerging markets, networks can be unreliable. This is clear when we look at the difference between the United States and India. The U.S. has 81% of the population covered with 4G. Yet, in India, less than 5% has access to 3G and 4G. When networks do work, they're often slow. In fact, India's 4G is the third slowest in the world. It runs at an average of just 6.4 Mbps. This can be hard for advertisers who want to reach everyone. This divide between cities and the countryside affects mobile ads. Advertisers need to change how they work to deal with these issues. They must make sure their ads can still reach people, despite the slow networks.
Metric United States India
4G Availability 81% Less than 5%
Average 4G Speed N/A 6.4 Mbps
Knowing about emerging markets helps brands connect with more people. These markets are changing fast. By being smart about the tech challenges, brands can do great in these places.

Challenges in Emerging Markets

The way businesses use mobile ads is changing fast. Today, in growing markets, they face big hurdles. A key issue is that more people are blocking ads. This is especially true in places where saving data is a big deal for consumers. In places like Asia-Pacific, users are starting to block ads more. They do this to make web pages load faster. Large, annoying ads slow down web pages a lot. In India and Indonesia alone, about two-thirds of people on smartphones block ads. They do it to make their web browsing better. For companies wanting to advertise in these areas, it's tough to reach people effectively because of this.

Ad Blocking on the Rise

privacy in mobile advertising
Ad blockers can really affect businesses.
Ad blockers are becoming more common in these areas. People use them to save data where internet is limited and data is expensive. A big number of folks prefer a web surfing experience without intrusive ads. For businesses eyeing these growing markets, it's a major challenge. Adding to the challenge, it's hard to identify users in these markets. One SIM card might not equal one user. This makes measuring ad campaign success accurately very hard. Advertisers need to think of new ways and use new tech to get around this issue.
Region Smartphone Users with Ad Blockers
India 64%
Indonesia 62%
Mastering the challenge of ad blocking in these markets is key. It's vital for companies to fully use the power of mobile ads in these areas of growth.

Emerging Markets and Business Opportunities

shopping cart
Emerging markets open countless doors for business owners.
Mobile technology is growing fast, especially in places like India. While only 8% of Indians can use the internet, 71% have mobile phones. For 52% of these users, their phone is the only way they go online. This change is a big deal as it reshapes how people in India and other emerging markets use the internet. The chance for businesses to advertise on mobile in places like India is huge. As more people in these areas use their phones for everything, brands can grab their attention through smart mobile ads. By focusing ads on what these users want, companies can find new success.
Metric India Other Emerging Markets
Mobile Penetration 71% Varies, but generally high
Internet Penetration 8% Relatively low compared to mobile
Mobile-Only Users 52% Significant and growing
The numbers in the table show how much mobile ads can grow in these areas. With more people using phones for the internet than computers, there's a big chance for brands to connect. Creating ads that speak to these mobile-first users can lead to big wins for businesses. The role of emerging markets is getting bigger in the digital world. Businesses that understand and match their advertising to the needs of these markets can see long-lasting success.

Strategies for Effective Mobile Advertising

creative mobile ads
Effective mobile advertising produces great results.
The mobile advertising world keeps changing. It's essential for advertisers to watch for new business opportunities in emerging markets. They should learn about what their customers like and how they behave. This helps them make ads that really connect with people.

Keep a Close Eye on Future Trends

In India, many young, city-dwelling men like watching videos on their phones. But, over in the small towns, more and more women are jumping into this, and they're catching up quick. So, if brands want to talk to these rural Indian women, they should start making video ads now. Mobile games are also becoming a big deal in many emerging markets. This is a chance for brands to get closer to their customers. By keeping an eye on where things are headed, advertisers can change their game to stay in touch with people. This means more business opportunities can come their way.
Trend Opportunity
Increasing female video viewership in rural India Prioritize video-based advertising to reach this growing audience
Rising popularity of mobile gaming Explore mobile gaming as a new channel for advertising and consumer engagement
Being on top of new trends and market changes is key. Advertisers who do this well can do great in emerging markets. They'll find lots of business opportunities waiting for them.

Building Trust and Localization

For mobile advertising in emerging markets, trust and being local are key. Many people in these areas download apps when someone they know recommends it. This close link to their friends and family helps build trust.

Build Trust Through Word-of-Mouth

Since the beginning of time, word-of-mouth recommendations have proven effective.
To reach people in emerging markets, brands should use local channels. Word-of-mouth and personal recommendations are very effective there. This helps create trust and makes brands more real to the local people.

Translate and Localize

Advertisers need to speak the local language and understand the culture in emerging markets. Even though many areas have more than one language, starting with the main business language is a good move. But it’s crucial to adapt the content to reflect local tastes. This creates a better connection with the audience. It would also be helpful to collaborate with a local influencer. Check out this The Shelf review, as the agency can partner you with one. Focus on trust and localization to make the most of emerging markets. This approach helps navigate the challenges and capture the opportunities mobile advertising offers in these areas.


Mobile technology has changed how people in emerging markets get online. It offers a big chance for brands to use mobile ads. They can reach a huge audience that's growing fast. But, to win in these markets, brands need to change their game and tackle unique challenges. Brands can win by knowing local trends, earning trust with word-of-mouth, and making their ads feel local. As more people buy mobiles and use new online services, the chance for ads is huge. With the right moves, brands can make the most of this fast-changing world. The real trick is to keep an eye on what's next, be quick to change, and meet the new wants of people in emerging markets. In this lively setting, brands can really make mobile ads work and make strong bonds with the many smartphone users in these quickly growing areas.


  • What is the growth potential for mobile advertising in emerging markets?
    The future looks bright for mobile ads in growing markets. By 2020, these places will welcome 2.5 billion more smartphone users. These users will be fresh to the online world.
  • How does the digital infrastructure in emerging markets differ from the U.S.? The U.S boasts 81 percent 4G coverage. In contrast, places like India have less than 5 percent 3G and 4G access. And, even when 4G is around, it's often sluggish. India's 4G ranks as the third slowest globally with speeds at just 6.4 Mbps.
  • Why is ad blocking prevalent in emerging markets? Emerging markets see a lot of ad blocking for data saving. People in Asia-Pacific use ad blockers to dodge huge ads that slow web pages. In India and Indonesia, around two-thirds of smartphone users use ad blockers now.
  • How does mobile penetration differ from internet penetration in emerging markets? In India, around 71% of people have a mobile device. Internet use only reaches 8%. Furthermore, half of India's web users depend solely on their mobiles for online access.
  • What are the best strategies for reaching consumers in emerging markets? To connect with these markets, brands should focus on local outreach. They need to speak the local language and understand culture. Tailoring content for these users will make a big impact. Working with a local influencer, through the help of this Vazoola review software, can also be beneficial.
  • How can brands build trust with consumers in emerging markets? In growing markets, friends' recommendations carry a lot of weight. So, brands should aim to be talked about among friends. This, along with local promotions, can help gain trust.
Discover more about mobile advertising strategies in this "Native Advertising on Mobile: Optimizing for Small Screens in 2024" article.
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