Matthias KunzeThe mobile opportunity is tremenous. In Asia Pacific alone, mobile subscribers are forecast to reach three billion in the near future with penetration rates 20 times higher than Internet connectivity in many of these countries. As the penetration of mobile phones continues, brands who want to reach their audience in new and innovative ways are increasingly turning to mobile as a driver of their marketing campaigns.  But running a successful mobile campaign is not simply about transferring your usual marketing content onto a mobile platform.

But running a successful mobile campaign is not simply about transferring your usual marketing content onto a mobile platform. 

Consumers Become ‘Mobile’

The thing to remember is that a person’s mobile phone can be used for more than just making voice calls.  It is a powerful connection point to EVERYTHING for consumers. In addition to phones with sophisticated Internet browsers, many devices shipping today are aware of location, time of day, the user’s context and their connections to people and things in the real world. The phone has the ability to transform social interactions and become more than just a device, but a way of life.

Economic downturn creating opportunities for mobile marketing

I’m often asked – how is the economic downturn affecting mobile? Contrary to other industries, mobile is accelerating due to several key drivers: network speeds are getting faster, handsets are more powerful and data plans are increasingly affordable, which makes the mobile Internet more attractive and accessible to all. These industry shifts, coupled with new and innovative mobile services from industry leaders like Yahoo!, has resulted in mobile advertising having the foundation  to be one of the largest advertising mediums of all the time.  As the economy stabilizes and then moves into a cycle of growth, mobile advertising is expected to garner a larger slice of the pie.   According to eMarketer,it is estimated that Asia Pacific spending on mobile advertising will reach a total of $6.9 billion by 2012 (with global mobile advertising spending expected to reach $19 billion). Most of all, mobile advertising will benefit from the shift of advertising spend from traditional to digital media, particularly as consumer take-up of mobile entertainment services grows in line with greater take-up of 3G.

Historically, the strongest players use slow economic periods to capture share from weaker competitors – and come out stronger on the other side of the recession.  Mobile advertising is at a tipping point and now provides an opportunity to engage your target demographic in a one to one conversation, driving effective, efficient, and measurable results.

Mobile marketing best practices

Yahoo! has been working with a number of companies in Asia, showing how certain best practices can ensure success for your mobile marketing campaign:

Integrate Mobile into your Overall Marketing Campaign:
EA Games wanted to drive traffic to their Spore Origins game website and increase downloads.  EA maximized their mobile investment by integrating with their non-mobile campaigns (print and SMS broadcasts). The result – 87,000 hits to the Spore Origin page that month (an increase of 173%), 200 downloads a day (a 250% increase).

Keep It Simple:

In mobile, less is more. Inherent limitations of mobile (typing, navigation, latency) require that mobile web sites make it easy to find information that users are looking for.   Honda kept their call-to-action obvious, simple, and capable of being fulfilled from a mobile device.  Honda developed a mobile marketing campaign in Malaysia aimed at driving interest of the All New Honda City.  Their WAP site provided quick, on-the-go information about the car, and for more detailed info, users were able to request for a Honda City e-brochure on the site.  The result – over 800,000 impressions served in 2 weeks, over 46,000 clicks to their site, and 205 requests for the e-brochure.

Embrace the Medium:

Mobile users go to the mobile web to communicate, for entertainment, or because they are looking for specific information, quickly.   In India, Puma ran a mobile campaign to coincide with the Indian Premier League to help increase awareness of their brand.  Their campaign ran on the Yahoo! Mobile Cricket Property and cricket related search key words.  Puma chose to entertain users by providing a free Puma cricket game download on their WAP site.  The result – nearly 1 million impressions served with 25,000 clicks.

By Matthias Kunze, Managing Director, Yahoo! Mobile, Asia Pacific