Asia Pacific is a leader in mobile adoption and will likely continue to be so with nearly all marketing professionals (95%) in the region considering mobile advertising effective. The onset of COVID-19 has further pushed the channel to the forefront with mobile playing a significant role in the purchase journey.
With consumers increasingly relying on mobile devices, mobile video has this year emerged as the main priority for marketing professionals across Asia Pacific with YouTube and Facebook dominating mobile video consumption.
These are some of the findings included in The State of the Industry: 2020 Mobile Marketing in APAC, an annual report released today, providing a current snapshot into how brands, agencies, media owners and tech vendors see the impact of mobile - its use as a tool for advertising effectively, as well as opportunities and concerns, particularly following the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report is based on a survey of 591 marketing professionals across APAC, carried out in June and July 2020 by Warc, the global authority on marketing effectiveness, on behalf of the MMA, the world's leading global non-profit trade association with members hailing from every faction of the mobile marketing ecosystem.
The report highlights the following key insights across APAC with extracts for India and Indonesia:
Mobile video and location data are the main focus areas for marketing professionals
Half (48%) of marketers across APAC, 45% in India and 36% in Indonesia are planning to focus on mobile video in their advertising. Social video apps Facebook and YouTube are highly popular in South-East Asia, particularly via mobile, and watching video is considered one of the most significant consumer behaviours for the industry this year.
Location data is the biggest technology for marketers, according to nearly half of respondents (46%) and offers unique opportunities to reach highly targeted audiences.
COVID-19 has made an impact but mobile budgets are resilient
Nearly two-fifths (38%) of marketing professionals across APAC are allocating more than 30% of their budget to mobile marketing: a seven percentage point increase from 2019. In India, one-fifth (20%) are allocating more than 35% and in Indonesia one-quarter (26%) are allocating more than 40% of their marketing budget to mobile.
Though COVID-19 has had an inevitable impact on budgets, with 30% of respondents across APAC, 27% in India and 46% in Indonesia expecting their mobile budgets to decrease, the channel has been one of the least-impacted by the pandemic as consumers have turned to their mobiles for tasks and activities normally carried out in person.
Metrics and measurement remain the biggest barriers to growth
Despite mobile being considered a highly effective channel by almost all respondents (95%), a challenge still lies in measuring its impact. The huge amounts of data available are making it more challenging to understand which metrics to measure and how to use the data efficiently.
Engagement metrics are used most often to measure mobile effectiveness (68% across APAC, 63% in India, 71% in Indonesia) while business metrics are growing year on year, going from being used by 53% of marketers in APAC in 2018 to 57% in 2020. In India 55% are using behavioural metrics and 69% in Indonesia.
Creating content specifically for mobile is increasingly important as mobile audiences continue to rise
Nearly three-fifths (58%) of APAC marketers are creating mobile-specific content as a strategy to improve engagement, and the majority of marketing professionals (84%) are considering ad length and design for mobile when creating mobile content.
In India, the majority (69%) of respondents use personalisation to increase engagement with 60% doing so in Indonesia.
The growth of m-commerce is driving developments in shoppable ads and live video shopping.
Summing up, Amy Rodgers, Managing Editor Research & Rankings, WARC, said, "The findings of this year's survey reveal that, despite reduced budgets brought on by COVID-19, marketers in APAC are going big on investing in mobile. The channel is providing brands with opportunities such as mobile video, social and m-commerce, to engage effectively with consumers in the region."
Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, MMA APAC, commented, "Mobile has consistently been an effective marketing channel in Asia Pacific (APAC) and is playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of modern marketing. I hope this study will empower marketers to leverage mobile to reach their customers, as the channel continues to be a disruptive force across industries."