The study was designed to measure attitudes towards mobile marketing, primarily within client-side advertisers and marketing services agencies, and surveyed respondents from 18 different markets in the region.
What was the key finding? That brands in the region recognise the power and potential of mobile, but are still struggling to work out their own mobile strategies. This is preventing them from fully exploring the medium, and may limit the effectiveness of their campaigns. While a majority of Asian marketers believe that mobile will play a major role in their campaigns within the next year, with 90 per cent of respondents rating mobile as very important or quite important, only 29 per cent of brand advertiser respondents had formal strategies for mobile. 42 per cent of agency respondents reported that the majority of their clients did not have a mobile strategy.
This brings to light a very interesting problem. Mobile is widely-recognised as a powerful and influential medium – but few have concrete plans or strategies that include mobile in a major way.
The reasons for this are many. The space may be developing so fast that brands are reluctant to commit to particular strategies that may be invalidated by developments in technology. The varying levels of usage and infrastructure throughout Asia also play a role, with mobile having a fragmented, highly heterogenous profile in the region.
Japan and South Korea are viewed as the most innovative nations for mobile marketing in Asia-Pacific. Interestingly, China was in third place, ahead of Singapore. Lack of skills in mobile marketing is viewed as the biggest obstacle to growth in the region, with 33 per cent of respondents citing this as a factor.
The tools for mobile marketing are out there. The Mobile Marketing Association is also taking steps to help to skill up marketers who are interested in moving into the mobile space. It is not entirely clear what more brands need to help them actively develop mobile strategies – perhaps it is the fact that mobile will demand new ways of thinking, and different kinds of consumer engagement that is holding us back.
Whatever the reason, the value of the mobile channel is not in question – it is simply a matter of finding strategies that can best use the space. Without tried and true solutions, any brand venturing into mobile is going to have to be a pioneer, and blaze their own trail, developing their own strategies as they go.
Details of the survey can be found at: www.warc.com/mobileasia