Mobile Marketing- perspectives from the industry
I am moderating a panel discussion at the MMA Mobile Marketing Forum Asia happening on 28th and 29th April.- and in one of my discussions with Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director of the association for Asia (I have earlier Brainstormed with him here) we decided that it might be a good opportunity to BrainStorm some eminent people from the industry and share their thoughts and concerns with ChasingTheStorm readers. I thought it was a great idea and completely in alignment with the blogzine’s editorial environment (Could have thought of a better term for that- but you get the idea)
Rice Communications- handling Public Relations for MMA, got me in touch with Mr Colin Miles- Executive Vice President and Co-Founder of i-Pop- and we exchanged some really good thoughts- on Mobile Marketing and the shape of things in Asia.
A summary on i-Pop
In their own words: i-POP is a Mobile Service Provider (MSP) providing end-to-end services to enable media networks and content providers to mobilise their media assets “on-demand”
However, in the spirit of marketing, I’ll mainly focus on Mobile Marketing related questions for this Brainstrom session- and here it begins:
Shalabh Pandey: How about starting with a SMS length introduction of your company.
Colin Miles: i-POP -Asia’s leader in mobile media & marketing- provides fully integrated solutions for broadcasters, agencies & Operators; to win customers with compelling services. We call it Marketing through content!
(Colin had actually made the answer SMS length by shortening some words so they fit in- but I made them long again- you can see I take my SEO seriosuly)
Shalabh Pandey: The “next year” has always been the year of mobile marketing. How different is this year (and the next) going to be for mobile marketing? What according to you are the exciting things to look forward to in 2009 as far as mobile marketing is concerned?
Colin Miles: Yeah, it’s an industry maxim which I guess was supposed to become a self fulfilling prophecy. Trouble is, saying -and doing- are completely different sides of the coin.
You need the hype to generate the interest, but you need to compelling delivery to generate the response. And delivery has been slow in coming. Integration has been slow in coming and the advertising industry itself has been slow in coming.
So in short, I don’t see a whole lot of difference between “this year” and next year. However, quicker evolution is underway – and anecdotally speaking, we have seen Mobile Marketing get higher up the agenda each year, so (based on that metric) it should reach the top of the list…well, next year.
Oh, and exciting things to look out for in 2009 will be more in the mobile social network marketing space, plus hopefully something that actually works really well in location based mobile marketing.
Shalabh Pandey: What are the core propositions for mobile advertising Vs other marketing channels? Why should advertisers take out budget from other channels into mobile? What GAP is it filling?
Colin Miles: Not wishing to be controversial in any way, but I’m clearly from the “Mobile first” camp; especially when it comes to reaching a big chunk of Asian consumers that is somewhere between 15 and 25. I would heavily advocate mobile as the primary channel for this demographic before any other channel: Period.
As an industry, we have seen some tremendous uptake in consumer acquisition from the mobile advertising campaigns we’ve seen; as well as the increasing click through numbers that the likes of AdMob and BuzzCity are publishing every month.
If any youth campaign doesn’t have mobile front then it’s not a gap it’s a yawning chasm.
Brands would be missing out on the most direct and personal form of communication, which tanks to smart-phones and increasing bandwidth are actually in some cases not too different from web based engagement experiences. Plus its better value for money.
Shalabh Pandey: There are divided views on this- and scarcely available statistics. But What according to you is the market size for mobile marketing/advertising in Asia? What are the top markets spending the most? And what are the formats that are getting the maximum spending?
Colin Miles: Sure. Nobody really knows. All the questions here seem to have multiple parts and each part could get a whole bunch of report sized answers. (By the way, the industry reports that do emerge usually cost about USD5k — so not many people can buy them). However, in the interests of space I’ll try to be brief. Based on what I’ve surmised in the past few months.
In terms of aggregate scale, the annualised real and projected numbers have been put forward in the tens to the hundreds of millions; however they are still a tiny fraction of the traditional ad industry market (and online/digital) numbers they are projected against.
Regionally speaking, for Southeast Asia; Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are deemed to lead, in that order. Messaging is far and away the leading mobile marketing mechanism but WAP sites & banners, and Ad funded services are gaining traction, such as subsidizing music tracks like Pepsi sponsoring Caller Ring Back Tone services (CRBT) in India.
Shalabh Pandey: The inevitable downturn question- is downturn a good thing or a bad thing (as for almost everyone else) for mobile marketing?
Colin Miles: Good thing really. Compared to most forms of traditional ad spend; it remains highly measurable, very flexible, delivers results and gives unique behavioral insight to consumers. We have seen no downturn in requests for proposals. Only bad thing is service providers get squeezed a bit!
Shalabh Pandey: What is the one disruptive feature that your service is bringing to the market? To the advertisers and to the customers?
Colin Miles: Direct to consumer relationships that can last forever if managed correctly. It’s not a feature it’s a fundamental change. i-POP stands for “interactive point of presence” because we firmly believed that mobile devices made everything, even static signboards potentially interactive, through short code access and creative applications. It unleashed unlimited marketing potential.
As a follow up on this discussion, Colin promised to send me some creatives or innovative mobile campaigns that i-Pop had enabled. That- and more- coming up next!