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Five trends in mobile media market

Mobile is the way to go for the brands looking to translate promotions into purchase quickly. Research shows that while more than 23 percent of online time for a consumer is on the mobile, but only one percent of the total advertising spend is allocated for mobile media. However mobile media and agency experts agree that mobile should no longer be just an addition but critical component of media mix for all types of advertisers. 

Over the last few years it has become apparent that mobile is a key device for connectivity and communication for consumers today, and in three years time tablets will take over PCs and mobile phones will grow three times. Thus for online biggies like Google, mobile media will be a growth vehicle especially on Asia Pacific.

As technology innovation speeds up mobile media in all sides whether it is networks, services or apps, the brands have to realise that mobile is one to one communication where they can reach their targets in a more effective way. Says Rohit Dadwal, managing director, Mobile Marketing Association, Asia Pacific, “Mobile is a mass media, and it complements other media in engaging the consumers.”

During this year’s MMA Forum 2012, the experts highlighted some key trends that will drive the growth in mobile media and the brands accepting this as the first point of contact with consumers.

The first is that mobile devices will become the first interface for users to search a product or service in the coming months. This was highlighted by Bambos Kaisharis, Head of Consumer Goods, Google, Singapore during his presentation. He explained that ‘Search’ will be a major activity on mobile as the lifestyle pattern of the young generation changes. “Search will move from home to the streets. People will slowly stop using the search capability on their home PC and use mobiles to search location based information whether for a service or shopping. This will be big in APAC,” Kaisharis added during his presentation.

In fact this brings to the second key trend of location-based communication as an outcome of the first trend. For brands and marketers there will be an increased importance of location of the consumer. “That is because location based communication and promotion is the next step of marketing for brands. This is already a strong trend where we see a big relevance in marketing products or service by time and location of the target consumers. We are talking now of augmented reality in mobile,” said Matt Briant, Mobile Platform director, Denstu Asia. He said that mobile coupon downloads based on the consumer’s location is fast becoming important for retail brands and consumer goods companies.

Taking this trend forward is Cherrypicks with its innovative ibutterfly application. According to Jason Chiu, CEO, The Cherrypicks Group, ibutterfly is a gamified process of coupon download, which has actually succeeded in engaging a consumer over 3 minutes on that app – a marvel by today’s consumer engagement standards. “This has actually improved consumer engagement statistics for many brands, and has led to immediate cross selling, which is not just good for revenue but also brand recognition,” Chiu added.

Next in line is mobile gaming; it is even now a great channel to get consumer attention. Market study shows that people in Asia are playing 125 years of Angry Birds every day. “Apps and games will be important in people’s lives in Asia, and that is where brands can maximise their presence with customised apps for customised users,” added Kaisharis. Robert Woolfrey, managing director, Southeast Asia, Millenial Media also stressed upon the growing importance of mobile gaming as a channel for brands, by saying, “increasingly majority of traffic is for mobile gaming, followed by music and then social media. So it is important to understand consumer behaviour – focus on what they are doing and like rather than categorising them.”

This brings to the fourth point of video on mobile. Studies show that 10 percent of all YouTube usage is through mobile. So brands need to start thinking about mobile video strategy, because that is a great channel to capture consumer mindshare. In fact experts expect 2/3rd of all mobile traffic to be from mobile video by 2015.

Finally, experts advice that brands should not think of just social media strategy but think of social mobile or what is called SoMo. This will be the new format of user engagement in future – Twitter is already hot on mobile, and Facebook is reaching there. So brands should expect SoMo to pioneer new levels of user engagement in the very near future.