Asia-Pacific has been receiving a great deal of attention lately. For many companies, it represents a large untapped market that has been greatly ignored by corporate giants only a few years ago. Local companies have some measure of advantage, with their familiarity with local tastes, culture and language. Imports, however, have an appeal for Asian populations that are rapidly becoming global consumers.
The Asian market can be a tough nut to crack, and while no marketing solution will be completely perfect, the mobile channel is a particularly appealing choice in APAC. Mobile phone usage and penetration in the region has taken off faster than anywhere else in the world, and Asians number among the most avid and prolific mobile users. According to GSMA, global mobile connections will reach six billion by end of November 2011. Out of the number, Asia-Pacific region will account for half of the connections. In Q1 2012, mobile penetration in Asia Pacific will reach three billion, and by 2015, number of connections will reach 4.1 billion, reporting twice the growth of Europe and North America.
Companies looking to take advantage of opportunities in Asia-Pacific should incorporate the mobile channel into their advertising efforts. Here are some considerations for businesses planning to go mobile with their advertising campaigns.
Adapt to different markets. Asia is a large region, and even within single countries there can be wide variations in language and culture. Consider your target markets carefully and adapt your messages so that they will remain relevant and engaging in all the markets they are deployed in.
Ensure performance across different devices. Not all mobile devices are the same. Depending on your strategy, the campaign delivery should be tailored to different devices. Rich content, for example, will work best on smartphones and tablets, while SMS messaging is universal enough to be used with the basic feature phones.
Drive purchase with a call to action. Mobile advertising reaches customers in a variety of circumstances, and in some cases, appears to them at point of purchase if they, say, do a search for your product while they are shopping. The other advantage of the mobile channel is its high level of interactivity. Include a call to action, whether it is to click on a link, or to make a phone call, or send back a text message. Doing so gives interested consumers a clear next step, which can drive sales, while at the same time providing brands with valuable insights on their target audience preferences.
Respect the consumer. Badly-designed mobile advertising can be perceived as intrusive. In certain cases, it may even be illegal if it is deemed to have violated consumer privacy rights. Make the effort to respect your consumers, and they will repay you by giving more attention to your campaigns. Ensuring the confidentiality of whatever data they share and respecting their privacy are two important considerations. Savvy advertisers can also take advantage of opt-in marketing schemes, where consumers are empowered to choose to enroll or receive marketing information, in order to send out their advertising to a ready and willing audience.
Targeting and relevance. These are the keys to ensuring consumer receptivity, which can also feed into customer loyalty and retention. Other implementation issues worth considering include putting together an effective, clear brief for the campaign design (so that both client and agency can be assured of mutual understanding), take advantage of the capabilities of the medium (offering electronic coupons, or repurposing TVCs into streaming video), start a dialogue with the consumer (asking for SMS responses, or offering further information) and finally, measure results and apply those lessons to future campaigns.
Mobile advertising is gaining recognition and is beginning to capture its rightful share of the marketing mix and budget. The results of mobile advertising campaigns are beyond any conventional advertising media, and so far, have yielded response rates far in excess of traditional media.
According to a whitepaper issued in May 2011, when combined with opt-in marketing, the average response rate for mobile advertising stands at 25.15%: considerably higher than the rate for mobile display ads (in the low single digits), more than twenty times the response rate for direct marketing (1.38%) and very much higher than web advertising (where a response rate of 0.08% is considered a successful campaign response rate). In some cases, the rate of response to opt-in mobile advertising was as high as 50%.
At this point, businesses that don’t even consider the potential of mobile advertising will be left behind, perhaps as their competitors reap the benefits. Thus, it is important for companies, big or small, to consider this method of advertising before it’s too late.