Asian firms lead mobile race

08 October 2012

NEW DELHI: Brand owners in Asia Pacific are currently investing more heavily in tools to meet the needs of the "digital mobile consumer" than their rivals across the globe.

TCS, the consultancy, polled 664 executives across the globe, and reported that the average featured firm was due to spend $17.9m on mobile technologies, marketing, customer service and similar areas in 2012.

Such a figure declined to a low of $13.5m in Latin America and $1m in North America, but rose to $20.1m in Europe and $22m in Asia Pacific.

Contributors predicted annual expenditure on these activities would hit $23.2m in 2015. Asia Pacific again led the charts, posting an anticipated spend of $26m, with all other regions around the $22m mark.

By category, energy companies boasted the highest levels of investment today, at $30.8m each, with telecoms firms on $28.6m, airlines on $27.2m and automakers on $22.3m.

By contrast, food and beverage manufacturers logged a typical outlay of $8.9m, increasing to $13.2m for retailers and $14m in the media and entertainment sector.

Marketing departments lead up strategy in this area for 23% of organisations. This fell behind their IT peers on 38%, but came in ahead of sales teams on 14% and customer service units on 10%.

At present, some 35% of marketing campaigns are designed exclusively for mobile, a total reaching 47% in Asia and 42% in Latin America, compared with 28% in Europe and 21% in North America.

Looking forward to 2015, participants forecast that the share of bespoke marketing programmes run on this channel would hit 49%

When discussing apps, North American firms had developed an average of 11.8 tools targeted at shoppers, rising to 12.7 in Latin America. This amount came in at 14.4 in Europe and 24.1 in Asia Pacific.

Telecoms operators had made 5.4 changes to their products and business processes apiece in response to the surge in usage of smartphones and tablets, versus 4.9 for retailers and 4.8 for media companies.

As an example, 61% of retailers now provided updated pricing information to shoppers via this route, 50.6% had improved websites to attract local web searches and 44.2% sent offers to members of opt-in lists.

Media owners also estimated that the proportion of content viewed through wireless gadgets would expand from 16% to 25% between 2012 and 2015, demanding a range of new products and services.

Data sourced from TCS; additional content by Warc staff