Mobile marketing gains ground in Europe, APAC

10 March 2010

BRUSSELS: Major brand owners in Europe and Asia Pacific plan to heighten their investment in mobile in 2010, but concerns about accountability remain, the World Federation of Advertisers has found.

The WFA surveyed its members in Asia Pacific and Europe, the Middle East and Africa between September and October last year, to gain an overview of their views regarding mobile marketing.

Some 24 companies, from nine different product categories, were represented in its results, with this group being responsible for a substantial combined annual media investment in each of these regions.

Overall, a total of 87% of respondents revealed that they intended to boost their expenditure on mobile communications over the course of this year.

However, any growth comes from a comparatively low base, as this medium currently receives just 2.5% of interactive budgets in APAC, a figure that falls to 1.2% in EMEA.

Engagement was regarded as one of the main benefits of utilising this emerging channel, and was afforded this status by an average of 67% of participants across all of the geographies assessed.

Interactivity and enhanced customer relationship management were both mentioned by 50% of the sample as a whole, while 69% of contributors in Asia Pacific referenced mobile's "viral potential".

With regard to the formats marketers had employed in the last 12 months, text messages, "apps" – such as those for Apple's iPhone – and dedicated mobile websites proved the most popular.

In-keeping with this trend, mobile web page views, the cost per customer acquisition and response rates to SMS and MMS campaigns were the metrics which had seen the widest uptake to date.

However, most advertisers expressed doubts about their ability to balance the costs of mobile marketing with the absence of formal benchmarks enabling them to establish the return on this investment.

While not statistically relevant, the findings drawn from this study are indicative of the thoughts and actions of the large multinational marketers in the WFA's Membership, including those of its newly-formed APAC Media & Marketing Network.

Data sourced from World Federation of Advertisers; additional content by Warc staff