So why should your business consider mobile as part of your marketing strategy? A good reason is its reach. There are actually more active mobile phone subscriptions worldwide than toothbrush owners (5.4 billion vs. 4.2 billion).
All too often mobile is an afterthought. But the truth is a cell phone is always in the consumer’s hands and on most of the time. Therefore, marketers should give mobile higher priority in their campaigns from day one.
“We know from the brands and agencies that we work with around the world that there is real value in mobile marketing and those who are taking advantage of it, or who do so in the future, stand to reap the benefits in this emerging area,” said Dr KF Lai, CEO of BuzzCity, a mobile media company offering brand owners and agencies access to a global advertising network on the mobile internet.
So what should you take into consideration when developing a mobile marketing strategy?
1.Audience - It is important not to make assumptions about target audiences. Many people assume that teens are the only audience that mobile may appeal to. In fact, in Thailand only 5% of surfers are under 20 years old. The working population makes the majority of users.
In many parts of the world, surfers are predominantly male, but in Thailand men and women are equal in numbers. Those in the urban areas are digitally savvy, and immersed in popular culture in all its forms – TV, music, film and fashion. Thai surfers are highly social, and actively engaged in group-pursuits. They are working adults facing a number of crucial life milestones, from changing jobs, to buying a home or car, to starting a family.
2.The user experience – Mobile is different from other forms of media, and you need to understand the context in which your ads will appear in. Consumers are in a variety of modes when using their mobiles such as waiting (time-wasting / browsing), commuting (seeking entertainment and diversion), communicating (chatting or interacting with social media), or looking for something (maps, reference, phone numbers, contact details, etc).
Mobile ads have to be designed accordingly and appear in a way that either complements these modes or contradicts them. To create the right experience, marketers may want to consider the devices most used by surfers in Thailand, such as Nokia (56.5%), BlackBerry (15.4%), Apple (10.2%), Samsung (9.2%) and finally white boxes at 4.7%.
3. Scale – By the end of Q3 2011, Thailand was ranked No. 9 globally on the BuzzCity ad network. This is the result of continued growth of surfing activity on mobiles and this growth appears to continue.
4.Test, test and test – It’s good to test several versions of your ad banner to ensure the best message that the market will respond to. For agencies working for large brands, ensure that you aren’t stuck with one version of the creative. We all know about slow approval cycles, so get your client's stamp of approval on at least four to five creatives before the campaign goes live. What is good is that running multiple versions of a campaign will not have any impact on your media costs as you can still set a daily advertising cap.
5.Use both banner and text ads - Many advertisers start out with text ads or graphic banners, rather than both. What they don’t realise is that by doing so, they halve their potential reach. Why not start with double exposure?
6.Analysis – It’s important to understand how your campaign has performed as well as how you can optimise the campaign for future success.
“It is apparent that mobile is here to stay and there is a real opportunity for businesses to take advantage of this direct route to their audiences,” said Dr Lai. “A bold step is needed by marketers to evolve their strategies and move ahead with the times.”