SINGAPORE - Improving mobile-marketing effectiveness is set to drive mobile spending growth in Asia Pacific, according to the State of the Industry: Mobile Marketing in APAC study released by Warc and Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).
Of the 324 marketing professionals from 17 markets polled, 59 percent found mobile marketing to be very effective, compared to 39 percent last year. Almost half of the respondents (46 percent) expected their mobile spending to increase by a quarter this year, although the current allocation for mobile has been 10 percent or less of the marketing budget for 60 percent of respondents.
Besides an increased affirmation for mobile marketing, 51 percent of the respondents with a mobile strategy said it was closely connected with other marketing activities.
The media channels that were integrated with the mobile strategy include social media (86 percent), online (77 percent), TV (35 percent), in-store (26 percent), out-of-home (21 percent), print (11 percent) and radio (7 percent). Respondents identified Unilever as the most innovative brand in mobile marketing, followed by Samsung and Coca-Cola. At the recently concluded 2016 APAC Smarties Awards, Unilever Asia was named 'Marketer of the Year in Mobile' and bagged more than 20 awards.
Furthermore, 82 percent of the respondents said they were mostly familiar with programmatic, and 83 percent of them said buying programmatically would play an important role in their marketing strategies.
On the mobile technologies that the marketers expected to use, 70 percent pinpointed location-based marketing. However, mobile wallet (47 percent), augmented reality (41 percent) and VR will come to the fore in five years’ time. This corroborates with what the marketers thought as significant trends impacting mobile strategy—multi-screening (62 percent), mobile payments (58 percent) and video watching (48 percent).
“These findings reveal a market that is developing its mobile capabilities rapidly,” said Amy Rodgers, research editor at Warc, in a statement. “Budgets are climbing, and over the next few years we expect to see that applied to mobile video and mobile payment systems,” said Rodgers.
However, despite the rosy prospects for mobile marketing, 39 percent of the marketers said insufficient metrics remain as one of the main barriers to the growth of the industry besides skills. In fact, metrics have emerged to be a bigger barrier in comparison to skills since 2015, according to the study.
Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific, Joe Nguyen, senior vice president for Asia Pacific with ComScore, said the definition for viewability has been an issue faced by the industry besides the challenges of reaching the right audience.
"As a medium, marketing goes back to the basics of reach frequency," he said. "The first basic of metrics is whether it [marketing] is in front of the right audience."
Walled gardens also proved to be a challenge for marketers post-campaign. "Advertising on mobile is still very discreet, with Google and Facebook holding the inventory," said Nguyen.
Earlier in April, the Interactive Advertising Bureau updated its mobile web advertising measurement guidelines and mobile application advertising measurement guidelines to offer some uniformity for the industry. ComScore also launched the MMX Multi-Platform in Vietnam during October to measure unduplicated audiences across desktop computers, smartphones and tablets.
Rohit Dadwal, managing director of MMA, APAC, said in an email response that a majority of marketers in the region continue to use single-vector metrics to quantify campaign performance instead of more rigid business metrics such as customer lifetime value.
"This becomes a real concern for brands, who are demanding more accountability and clearer return on investment," said Dadwal.
He added that marketers must also ensure continued investment in customer relationship management and leverage on data insights.
"The initiatives can then be tracked with key performance metrics closely alligned to the business," said Dadwal.