Vikas Gulati
Dec 16, 2013

Mobile marketing juggernaut: Ride it or get run over

Mobile marketing is the future. Here are three principles of using it effectively.

Vikas Gulati
Vikas Gulati

Mobile marketing, with its ubiquity and efficacy, has attracted many brand owners as they see the merits of including it in the marketing mix. We have witnessed mobile campaigns like Cadbury’s Halls CSR campaign ‘Breathe The Change’ that actively engaged the youth across India and Coca Cola’s ‘Share a Coke and a song’ campaign in Japan that connected the brand through music and social sharing.

Both of these are brilliant examples of highly personalised and targeted offers that can be made to consumers using mobile. They are also clear indicators of how mobile marketing in Asia has come of age. The technology and platforms are widely available and are bringing the activity of customer interaction to a whole new level.

Historically, there have been rich dividends for understanding the future. Mobile marketing is the future and Asia is very much part of it. Going by the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) data, Asia Pacific contributes to 36 per cent of the US$5.3 billion global mobile advertising industry.

What are people doing on their devices all the time? Our joint report with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) found that 67 per cent of Southeast Asian users spend their time on mobile apps. The world is getting younger and the older generation is refusing to age as far as mobile technology is concerned; adaption of mobile technology is across generations—primarily because there is something for everyone.

Demand for content literally at one’s fingertips, thanks to touchscreens, creates a brilliant opportunity to interact with target audiences. Mobile is the primary screen now as people are always watching movies, football games, soaps, and videos from various other genres.

In our experience of handling thousands of campaigns across product categories, we feel that brand custodians still need to consider the following three pillars for creating effective and impactful mobile campaigns:

Audience targeting

Media buyers used to buy inventory based on the user's device rather than the user. Today, the paradigm has shifted completely. A plethora of insights are now available with telecom companies including; consumer preferences, behaviour patterns, population dispersion, spending power, age and gender demographics—just to skim the surface. This information can be leveraged without infringing upon the individual privacy of consumers to custom-build campaigns around relevant content. This has gained a high amount of importance for an average mobile user. Marketers need to effectively use this information to target their right audience.

Right ad formats

Rich-media formats such as HTML5 infused with the wide range of touch devices can completely transform the way you use mobile advertising. Give life to your brand engagement through numerous intuitive engagement methods such as touch, click, drag, scratch, pinch functionalities; enabling consumers to experience the brand in a much more human and relevant way than ever before. Choose what works for your brand. You can use mobile for the entire engagement cycle of creating brand awareness to completing purchase to collecting feedback.

Relevant advertising

Context is highly important for mobile campaigns as you reach the audience through a highly personalised medium. While making mobile messages more contextual for your targeted audience, brands also have to create a lot of content to segment particular groups of mobile users. What brands need to also consider is user behaviour and tap into location based advertising. A great blend between mobile, brands and location can generate successful campaigns.

Location-based advertising may be in its infancy but it is gaining momentum. With relevant and targeted advertising, advertisers gain higher ROI as the chances of a product or service being consumed increases significantly.

Most exciting industry

Mobile marketing is not about screens or devices. It is about people. All customers crave an experience that goes beyond self-serving advertisements. They want to be understood, and brand owners are at that stage where they can make a real impact by serving personalised messages. With the technology and platform already in place, the industry is expected to exceed expectations in years to come.

Berg Insight forecasts that the global advertising market will grow from $3.4 billion in 2010 to $22 billion in 2016. This is a brilliant opportunity for mobile marketers to ensure that they get a large share of the pie or contribute to grow the pie itself. Emerging markets clearly present the platform, with constantly growing economies, increasing economic cooperation across ASEAN, growing mobile internet penetration and increased importance of mobile devices. The only way to ride and gain is to commit with sincerity to the mobile marketing juggernaut.

Vikas Gulati is's vice-president for Southeast Asia

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