David Blecken
Apr 8, 2016

Don't dismiss the PC when marketing in a 'post-mobile' world: Appier

ASIA-PACIFIC – Marketers’ over-excitement around mobile in Asia risks missing out important parts of the customer journey, according to a study by Appier, a Taiwanese artificial intelligence (AI) services company.

Appier: Asian consumers are not 'mobile-only'
Appier: Asian consumers are not 'mobile-only'

The company’s Cross Screen User Behaviour Report shows that while there are more reachable mobile phones in the region than PCs and tablets, the latter two account for a higher volume of usage.

The study found the ratio of reachable mobile phones to PCs on weekdays was around 6:1, and for tablets, 17:1. Yet PCs generate more than 50 percent of the volume of usage as smartphones. Each individual PC is used nearly four times as much as each individual smartphone.

Tablets account for 20 to 30 percent more average usage than smartphones, the study showed.

Other key findings were:

  • Men are 3 percent more active on PCs and 4 percent more active on tablets than women
  • Women are 14 percent more active on tablets than men
  • 68 percent of cross-screen users across Asia interact differently with ads across different screens. This is most apparent in Vietnam (63 percent), and least so in Japan (9 percent)
  • For PC, conversion rates are highest between 11 pm and 12 am
  • On smartphones, conversions peak at 7 pm. Overall usage gathers momentum from 4 pm and peaks at 11 pm
  • Tablet conversions peak at 9 pm, with usage peaking at 11 pm

The report said that cross-screen campaigns—campaigns that take into account differing interaction with screens—are 26 percent more effective than more straightforward multi-device campaigns.

Caroline Hsu, Appier’s chief marketing officer, said the findings showed it was too early for brands to bet on mobile in isolation as a way of reaching their target audiences. She described the environment instead as "post-mobile".

“A lot of people are talking about the world being mobile,” Hsu said in a telephone interview. “We’re talking about it being multiple-device. Marketers should be taking into account different devices.

“The key is placing the user at the centre. You have to look at who your consumer is and their personal preferences. That means you cannot use the same message and same ad format across screens. You have to look at the bigger picture.”

Unsurprisingly, Hsu suggested AI technology was the “only way” to keep up with user behaviour and adapt advertising to target people effectively across different screens throughout the course of the day.

Clearly, AI is one way to help keep up with complex behaviour. But the most important point is that while mobile should be an important part of any serious marketing strategy, it should not be seen as the only truth—yet, at least.

The study covered 11 Asian markets: Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines. It analysed 850 billion data points from Appier-run campaigns in the second half of 2015, including ad requests, impressions and conversions as defined by specific advertiser goals. The study did not use questionnaires to gather data.

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