The mobile platform is unique, and lets advertisers tap connectivity and cutting-edge technology to create unique, intensely personal brand experiences for consumers, at the same time reaching into their social graphs. Mobility makes distribution to large numbers easy, but each and every marketing message is presented at point of contact directly to a single individual.

The opportunities for mobile marketing are numerous – and while we’re seeing some great work all over Asia, there is still a great deal of unexplored territory, or spaces where marketing efforts are still in their youth.

The size of the Asian market is its greatest strength, followed shortly by the incredible growth in mobile phone users over time. The space still has ways to go – infrastructure is still developing, and service is far from universal. Once the infrastructure issue is solved, connectivity and mobile data will be widely available (hopefully at affordable prices) then the pre-conditions will be set for a real explosion.

So where is mobile marketing headed? In the short term, expect to see first forays into mobility to repurpose existing assets. Television commercials or web campaigns for example, can be easily reworked and then redistributed to mobile devices. In the longer term mobility will be strategically incorporated into the overall marketing mix, as much a part of a campaign as print or other media. In this instance, assets will be mobile specific: created for the platform and catering to its strengths and other features, including elements of interactivity or connectivity that are unique to mobility.

In its early days, mobility was all about technology, and about numbers. This is changing. The focus has shifted, and once again, marketers are going back to basics. It’s not about subscribers. It’s not about users. It’s about people.

Creating engaging brand experiences is about using media as effectively as possible, but what is important is the story. It is crucially important for people to be able to identify with the stories, and for those stories to move people. Whether you’re making them laugh or cry, it is the campaigns with the greatest emotional resonance that people remember the best. This is a strategy that will pay off, particularly in the long term.

This is a particularly heartening development in mobile space, as the industry is showing clear signs of maturing. Moving away from gimmicks, and returning to creativity is the pathway for future growth and only time will tell what wonderful innovative campaigns lie in wait for the industry.

By Rohit Dadwal, MD APAC, MMMA