Content creators still not thinking ‘mobile-first’ in ad creation
Contextual ads focused on mobile ‘moments’ is the way to go
MALAYSIANS love their mobiles, and up to eight in 10 use them to surf the Internet. However brands and advertising agencies have yet to really start creating content that is optimised for mobile consumption, according to BuzzCity and a report it recently released.
Its chief revenue officer Manish Mishra said brands and ad agencies still spend about 75% of their budgets on traditional TV and print media, and many of them have yet to turn to the digital platform, especially mobile.
One of the key findings of the BuzzCity report is that multi-device access (where users surf across two or more devices) is still relatively small at 8%, but has more than doubled from the 3% in early 2014. This is expected to grow in the coming year due to the proliferation of devices.
“It’s a slow process and this is a worldwide trend, not only here in South-East Asia,” Manish said at the unveiling of the mobile advertising network’s quarterly State of the Mobile Internet report on July 8.
“Usually, mobile typically gets about 1% of the digital portion of the budget [from the total ad spend],” he added.
When asked why, Manish suggested that brands, especially the big ones, find it hard to move due to their size and legacy thinking.
“Despite the shift in people’s consumption to mobile, we find that brands are still slow to move …,” he said.
“It’s not rocket science for them to adopt a mobile ad strategy. But there is still much education needed for them to move,” he added.
Manish (pic) also suggested that brands and ad agencies might be short of talent to create content for mobile ads.
Asked when he thinks brands would move away from spending most of their budgets on TV and print, and divert at least half to digital ads, he said it’s hard to predict that point, noting only that some brands and their agencies are already moving towards that.
“It's a natural evolution process and it’s new media and so it's still in the ‘evangelisation’ stage,” he argued. “That’s why we’re doing these surveys, to help brands plan their marketing strategy.
“What we’ve seen with some of our clients is that they realise the power of digital, particularly mobiles, and are moving towards that,” he added.
Mobile-first, contextualised ads
The latest BuzzCity report tallies with what Google Inc noted about two years ago. The search giant then observed that despite the potential presented by mobile advertising, the majority of large advertisers in Malaysia didn’t yet have a mobile website.
Google Malaysia country manager Sajith Sivanandan had then said that brands and ad agencies should ‘think mobile’ across every customer touchpoint, beginning with ensuring that they build a mobile website.
He also noted that advertisers must move from ‘mobiles’ to ‘moments,’ or to stop thinking in terms of devices and start thinking in terms of context.
Sajith’s observations were backed by what market research firm TNS had reported on media and advertising.
In an interview with Digitial News Asia (DNA) last October, Joseph Webb, head of digital for TNS Asia Pacific, said brands and advertisers must contextualise their digital ads in order for them to be effective.
Advertisers used to target one group of consumers at any one time, but today, the target is much larger and, in a sense, harder to reach, he had argued.
“We think that this is an opportunity because consumers are in different places for different reasons, and they have different needs,” Webb said.
“For example, if you’re Starbucks, you would go after the morning crowd as that’s when your brand is most relevant and most coffee is bought and sold. That’s when advertising stands the best chance of getting through.
“If you’re a tech brand, don’t try to get them when consumers are working or when they are distracted with work, but get them during evenings or weekends when they can focus and when they’re spending time researching the products they want to buy,” he had said.
The latest BuzzCity State of the Internet survey was conducted between May 28 and June 15, 2015 and sampled 4,100 respondents in 23 countries. The poll was a non-incentivised (not paid) survey.
South-East Asian countries covered included Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Some key conclusions of the report are:
PCs and laptops remain significant devices for Internet access; about 8% of respondents use their laptops and PCs to access the Internet, although there is a significant decline in the demand for these devices as usage halved to 8% from 19% last year;
Tablet usage flattened at 17% in Malaysia, likely due to the increase of smartphones that are bigger in size, popularly known as ‘phablets,’ thereby negating the need for a tablet;
7% of those surveyed were ‘planning to buy a smartwatch’ in the next six to 12 months;
9% of respondents also accessed the Internet with smart TVs, leading to demand for smart TVs doubling in the last year from 4% in 2014 to 9% in 2015; and
The top five uses of the Internet up to July 2015 were: Entertainment (65%); communications (39%); reading and searching for news and information (29%); passing time/ leisure (21%); and work, business or studies (30%).
For more on the BuzzCity report, go here.
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