Agencies say most clients in Asia still don’t have a mobile strategy: Warc study

Most agencies in Asia believe that clients still do not have a strategy for mobile, according to a regional survey.

The study of 316 marketers and agency executive across 24 Asian countries found that 71 per cent of agencies feel that marketers lack a mobile strategy – even though 91 per cent of marketers feel that mobile is important.

The study was conducted by Warc in association with the Festival of Media Asia and the Mobile Marketing Association.

It also found that the majority (78 per cent) of respondents think that 10 per cent or less of marketing budgets are allocated to mobile – a drop of two percentage points on last year’s survey.

However, all respondents said the think mobile will account for 30 per cent of marketing spend by 2019.

Though estimates for mobile marketing spend vary significantly, mobile is still believed to account for just a fraction of one per cent of marketing spend overall, even though mobile device penetration is soaring across the region.

Other findings from the report were detailed in a press release as follows:

  • The most innovative markets for mobile are China (43%), Singapore (38%), Japan (33%) and Australia (31%).
  • Travel, transport and tourism are currently seen as the most innovative industries using mobile, up 11 percentage points from 23% in 2013. Other innovative industries included leisure and entertainment (32%), telecoms (29%) and financial services (29%).
  • Multi-screening is now viewed as the most significant mobile consumer behaviour, ahead of mobile payments which was cited top in 2013.
  • Location-based marketing is viewed as crucial to both current (73%) and future marketing activities (79%) in the region.
  • The fastest growing technology in terms of adoption is the mobile wallet, intended to be utilised by 35% of respondents in 2014/15, before rising to 62% adoption in 2019.
  • The use of QR codes, currently deployed in 45% of the marketing activities of those surveyed, is expected to halve over the next five years, suggesting the technology is viewed as somewhat dated in such a fast-evolving industry.
  • Samsung, whose smartphones are the most prevalent in Asia Pacific was recognised as the most innovative brand in 2014, with a share of 10% of all responses.
  • Respondents also believed Samsung to be the most innovative brand in last year’s survey, but at a much higher rate (30%). Other innovative brands included Coca-Cola (7%), Apple (4%), McDonalds (4%), Unilever (4%), Nike (3%), Procter & Gamble (2%) and Google (2%).

Edward Pank, MD at Warc Asia Pacific, said: “It’s clear from the study that there is still a long way to go before brands and agencies in Asia Pacific understand the full potential of mobile for reaching consumers. It is encouraging to see however that those brands that have taken the leap are now learning to use mobile in innovative ways that integrate with other marketing activities, demonstrating mobile’s gradual move from the periphery to the centrepiece of marketing strategies.”

In an interview with Mumbrella in July last year, the MMA’s director Rohit Dadwal was asked what the most common mistake marketers make in mobile. He said: “They want a mobile strategy. This is a big mistake. Your strategy needs mobile as one element of a marketing campaign, but is not a strategy in itself.”


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