Marketers still struggling with mobile

  • 90% of survey respondents rate mobile as important to their 2013 plans
  • Still struggling with mobile strategies, putting their marketing programs at risk

A NEW study on behalf of the Festival of Media Asia that will be held at W Singapore- Sentosa Cove from March 3-5, showed that an overwhelming number of Asian marketers believe that mobile will play a major part next year.
Ninety percent of respondents rated mobile as ‘very important’ or ‘quite important’ to their 2013 plans.
The survey also found that although brands in Asia Pacific realize the power and potential of mobile, they are still struggling to develop recognized mobile strategies, putting the future effectiveness of their marketing programs at risk.
From the marketer’s perspective, aside from mobile phones, tablets and to a large extent laptops, are also classified as a mobile devices.
The study was conducted by marketing intelligence company Warc in partnership with the Mobile Marketing Association.
Marketers still struggling with mobileDigital News Asia (DNA) posed some questions to Rohit Dadwal (pic), managing director of the Mobile Marketing Association Asia Pacific. Below is an edited version of his responses.
DNA: It is puzzling when you say that brands/ agencies have to take risks with mobile. Everything going mobile is not even a trend today, it is already here. Why then do agencies/ brands have to be brave? Is it because the ROI (return on investment) from this can be clearly measured and people are afraid of failure?
Rohit: Mobile marketing is a whole different ball game from traditional marketing channels. Brands and agencies both need to prepare for a deeper level of engagement with consumers when using the mobile channel.
In order to successfully drive a mobile campaign, they need to ensure a call to action, sufficient back-end support as well as have a greater understanding of the platform itself.
This is what makes mobile a challenge to brands.
DNA: The lack of skills in mobile marketing is not unusual considering there is still a lack of skills in online marketing and that is a 13-year old industry in Asia already. I assume this lack of skills in mobile marketing can only be overcome by doing, failing and learning from experience?
Rohit: Learning the skills to successfully run mobile-centric campaigns is not simply a case of trial and error. Proper training should also be ensured.
However, training and education programs need to evolve in order to include not only marketing specific courses but also provide students with the technical knowledge and understanding required to run mobile campaigns.
This has already begun to some extent and many universities offer courses in multimedia and technology. The MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) also runs a certification program for mobile marketers.
DNA: Is it not true then that, having the smallest form factor among all the digital computing mediums (tablets and the various permutations of the laptop), makes mobile phones the least effective for marketing messages in the 41% of cases where your research showed that consumers use their mobiles in conjunction with other digital media?
Rohit: Marketing effectiveness depends not only on screen size but also other factors such as degree of usage, ease of use, immediacy, and connectivity that differ across devices.
Mobile phones are the most immediate and direct medium as most people carry them around in their pockets the entire day. Mobile phones, especially smartphones also have other capabilities such as voice and SMS which other devices generally do not offer, which make them a preferred and more exciting channel for marketers.

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