Sophie Chen
Aug 22, 2013

Southeast Asian mobile users turn to mobile ads for content: MMA & Vserv

SINGAPORE – Young, educated mobile internet users in Southeast Asia tend to seek downloadable content through mobile ads, according to the “Mobile Internet Consumer - Southeast Asia 2013” report.

Games and applications are the most downloaded forms of mobile content
Games and applications are the most downloaded forms of mobile content

The report is launched by Mobile Marketing Association and Vserv.mobi today at the MMA Forum in Singapore. It’s based on a primary survey in July on more than 3,000 mobile web and app users across six key countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The findings show that almost half of the mobile internet users (47 per cent) in Southeast Asia are less than 24 years old, and 36 per cent of them possess graduate and postgraduate degrees.

In addition, more than 70 per cent of mobile internet users in this region are working professionals with an affluent lifestyle and high disposable income. They like to go shopping (58 per cent), watch movies (47 per cent) and frequently dine out (41 per cent).

With more purchasing power, mobile users like to buy connected devices, such as computers (39 per cent) and tablets (29 per cent), consumer durables (38 per cent), automobiles (32 per cent), and payment cards (23 per cent).

“Over the past year, Mobile has grown as a preferred medium for advertising, offering unparalleled reach and benefits over other mediums,” Vikas Gulati, vice president for Southeast Asia at Vserv.mobi told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “But for any ecosystem as it grows and evolves, challenges will emerge which is also the case with mobile. Whether it is the advertising agency or the marketers, they have to identify the numerous possibilities on this medium and understand the ecosystem in a short span of time.

Yew Leong Lee, Starcom MediaVest Group’s executive director of digital for Southeast Asia, also pointed out that consumer behaviours around mobile are different.  “Mobile users in this region have higher expectation as many of them skipped desktop,” he told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “Information gathering is still their primary purpose. Then they need to be entertained and engaged.”

The study shows mobile internet users love mobile ads that provide mobile content (55 per cent), deals (42 per cent), and brand information (36 per cent), indicating that brands should leverage this consumption behaviour to drive higher engagement and recall.

The most downloaded mobile content are games and applications (67 per cent), followed by video (46 per cent), music (38 per cent) and themes (32 per cent).

To get on mobile, Lee suggested that brands need to make sure they have done the basics right first, including optimised mobile web, updated and accurate information, appearance in search engines, as well as keeping the balance between quality and quantity of their mobile content.

“In addition, brands need to use data and analytics to find out the current consumer behaviours, such as where, why and how audiences look for information from them,” he added.

Gulati agreed that advertisers need to invest time evaluating the mobile habits and behaviour patterns of users to create smart campaigns that will connect with consumers, irrespective of the mobile platform they use.

“They need to be aware of what the consumers are looking for whether it is entertainment, utilitarian content like deals and discount coupons, information and so on,” he said. “Once they have done this analysis, they should devise their mobile strategy aligning their campaigns' proposition to consumer preferences.”

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