Mobile is an integral part of any marketing mix. There is no doubt in how much time Malaysian consumers interact and engage with their mobile every day. As with all digital advertising, mobile too, provide measurement of ROI along with other media. There is sufficient mobile advertising space in terms of inventory and reach and it will surpass desktop if it has not already done so. As mobile is a very personal medium leading to better targeting, it is now the weapon-of-choice for marketers to reach their audiences. Senior marketers familiar with the importance of mobile have included it into their marketing strategy. But the time has come for mobile-first marketing strategies if marketers want to stay ahead of the curve in engaging and being relevant to their consumers.

State of mobile in Malaysia as of Q3, 2015:

  • 145% penetration of the Malaysian population. (Source: MCMC Q3’ 2015)
  • Primary screen for most Malaysians. Almost half of Malaysians would rather give up their televisions than their smartphones. (Source: Google and IPSOS Media CT, Our Mobile Planet – Malaysia Interactive Chart, 2013, www.thinkwithgoogle.com/mobileplanet)
  • Smartphone penetration continues to grow surpassing the 70% mark in Q4, 2015. (Source: Google Consumer Barometer 2015)
  • Over 52 per cent of Malaysians access the internet using their smartphones. (Source: Google Consumer Barometer 2015)
  • Malaysia is ranked third in mobile shopping growth in Asia Pacific. (Source: MasterCard’s Mobile Shopping Survey)

A mobile-first strategy requires an understanding of consumer behaviour and ultimately, consumer engagement. From the Golden Age of Television to the current age of targeted, programmatic digital advertising, it has always been about engagement.  And right now, engagement in the Malaysian mobile realm can be better through further drilling down for a more effective implementation of mobile-first marketing strategy.

 
Analyse & Increase Personalization

Targeting potential users by demographics and interests can be more spot on to generate solid results. The main difference between mobile and desktop ads is that mobile ad exposure is on the go amidst people, situations and events.

For effective targeting, mobile ads identify experiences of potential consumers and correlate it to that specific experience using geo-location technologies and check-ins in public places.

Reaching consumers with the right message when they are experiencing a relevant situation helps paint a more comprehensive picture of the product you are trying to sell. For example, if you are marketing a taxi app, chances are you will get more conversions from ads if you geo-target people stepping out of a huge concert.

 
Reach and convert

A mobile-first approach understands that the goal is no longer to transmit a message that might resonate with consumers later on but rather to get them to act NOW. This is why knowing what the consumer needs and when they need it is crucial to achieving a higher conversion rate.

For instance, if you are a property developer and wants to advertise your latest developments to target a 35-year-old man, you can first figure out where he is. If he is on his way to work, and he is likely caught in heavy traffic, chances are he is open for suggestions of getting a property closer to his office. This is the time to act! Offer the man attractive rates with GPS location-guided messaging to ensure that your ad is relevant to him immediately.

Mobile ads, unlike other types of ads, allow marketers to turn potential consumers into users. In order to utilize this benefit of mobile ads, brands should use a clear call-to-action and appropriate messaging to successfully attract users and get them to check out the product right away.

 
Mobile-First Creative Strategy

Most marketers and creative agencies create mobile banners and videos that are adapted from desktop and websites. Mobile banners and videos are different and so should the creative. In the absence of a cursor, clicking on an exact element on a smartphone screen can often become difficult. Users can become frustrated if links are too close together to accurately select the link they intend — and this frustration means they are more likely to stop reading your content. Designing best practices for mobile content requires increased space between different touch targets within your content. This makes it easier for users to tap on your calls to action and links to your additional content, to your social media outlets, or to your website.

It is also wise to leverage on mobile’s native functions such as click-to-call, add-as-reminder, drive-to-location amongst the few to make it easier for consumers to connect with your brand instantaneously.

By Kenneth Wong, Head of Digital – Carat Malaysia

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