What’s On

The ‘mobile mindset’ of APAC consumers

Forrester forecasts that there will be more than one billion smartphone subscribers in Asia Pacific in 2015. China alone will be larger than the US and European markets combined. Mobile is changing the daily lives of Asian consumers, and the phone-addicted population (dubbed as Phubbers in Australia, and ditouzu in Greater China) is growing fast. With high adoption and usage of mobile devices, consumers in Asia Pacific are experiencing the mobile mind shift:

The expectation that I can get what I want in my immediate context, and moments of need.
To help marketers understand and reach their mobile shifted customers, Forrester recently introduced the new Mobile Mind Shift Index (MMSI), a tool that enables marketing leaders to assess their customers’ mobile intensity, expectations, and behaviours across three components:

  • The Mobile Intensity Score determines if it is appropriate to connect with customers. This score, on a scale from zero to 100, indicates how intensely people use interactive mobile devices. We use the Mobile Intensity Score to divide online consumers into four segments based on their rounded score: Shifted (60 and above); Transitional (20 to 59); Unshifted (1 to 19); and Disconnected (zero).
  • The Mobile Expectation Score determines the urgency to create mobile applications. This score, also on a scale from zero to 100, indicates what people expect from companies on their mobile devices. Higher scores indicate greater urgency for creating mobile applications.
  • Three Mobile Behaviour Scores determine which type of features people are ready for. We calculate three mobile behavioural scores, each on its own scale of zero to 100. The Communicate Score indicates participation in mobile communications behaviours like checking email and texting. The Consume Score measures mobile behaviours like reading news or watching video. The Transact Score tracks mobile behaviours like online buying or service.

According to the new MMSI data, in general, mobile consumers in Asia Pacific are transitional in mobile intensity. In many Asia Pacific countries, the mobile intensity score is higher than other countries in the rest of the world. In particular, online consumers in Hong Kong (38) and metropolitan Indonesia (41) have the highest Mobile Intensity Scores in the world, compared with 27 in the US and 16 in the UK.

Yet marketers in Asia Pacific are not keeping up with consumers’ mobile behaviours in their outreach and strategy:

  • Marketers’ understanding of mobile consumers is not comprehensive. Many marketers in Asia Pacific reach mobile consumers based on fragmented mobile behaviour data they can find such as specific mobile app usage, but not the overall picture of their general behaviours and expectations.
  • Their mobile marketing strategies are still experimental. Although many marketers in Asia Pacific have tested mobile, only few have incorporated it as a consistent marketing channel. Marketers currently spend a very small portion of their ad budgets on mobile. After speaking with marketers in Asia Pacific, we found that most of them are still uncertain about how to craft an effective mobile marketing strategy. If you’re among them, the POST framework is recommended as an effective way to begin crafting your approach.
  • People: Understand your audiences’ complicated mobile behaviour. Forrester created the Mobile Mind Shift Index to measure mobile engagement, and one of the key components is the Mobile Intensity Score, which measures how immersed people are in their mobile lifestyle.
  • Objectives: Determine the relationship you want to have with your customers. Marketers need to remember the extremely intimate nature of mobile devices as they define their mobile marketing objectives. Based on different levels of customer engagement, we’ve identified four main objectives for interacting with consumers via the mobile channel: acquaintanceship, friendship, camaraderie, and commitment.
  • Strategy: Use immediacy, simplicity, and context. Ask the tough questions about reach, roadblocks, and budget. Most importantly, keep the three mobile fundamentals in mind while creating your strategy.
  • Technology: Choose technologies that enhance the consumer relationship you want. As a final step, choose technologies and tactics that best meet your needs. Different technologies are better suited to different mobile marketing objectives.

Mobile is a platform for multiple marketing tactics. The marketing efforts that marketers are already familiar with can be integrated into this platform, including social, video, and search marketing. To think about mobile marketing strategically, marketers in Asia Pacific must:

  • Match mobile strategy with their overall marketing strategy. Some marketers in China have already started implementing multiscreen marketing across mobile phones, tablets, PCs, and TV.
  • Consider mobile as the convergent point of multiple media. Mobile breaks down the boundary between the digital and the physical and between traditional and interactive media.
  • Grasp online-to-offline (O2O) via popular mobile messaging apps. For example, most marketers in China adopt the O2O approach by providing QR codes on offline channels, including product packaging, print ads, and in-store posts, and they often work with WeChat, a key mobile platform that is integrated with payment options.

The write up is part of the DMA Annual Report ‘What’s Trending 2015‘. To book your own hard copy of the Annual, write to marketing@digitalmarket.asia

Wang Xiaofeng

Xiaofeng helps companies develop effective digital marketing strategies for the greater China market. Xiaofeng's research focuses on how to better understand the unique social behavior of Chinese consumers and how to harness social media platforms in the market to drive awareness, engagement, and brand loyalty. She is fluent in English and Mandarin