SINGAPORE: Nearly all marketers in Asia Pacific now regard mobile to be very effective or quite effective as a marketing channel, a new survey from Warc and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) has revealed.

Specifically, some 59% of APAC marketers currently view mobile as a very effective marketing channel, up from 39% in 2015, while the proportion seeing it as quite effective has fallen from 54% last year to 39%.

Such growing confidence in mobile is in turn encouraging more marketers in the region to expect that their budgets allocated to the channel are likely to grow over the coming year.

These are some of the key findings in the latest State of the Industry: Mobile Marketing in APAC report, a survey of 324 marketing and advertising professionals across 17 markets that Warc and the MMA conducted in October 2016.

Now in its fourth year, the report found that 92% of APAC marketers believe their budgets for mobile will rise this year, with almost half (47%) expecting to see growth of more than a quarter.

And although 60% currently allocate 10% or less of their marketing budgets to mobile, the majority expect their budget to have increased by more than 50% by 2021.

As marketers increasingly view mobile to be effective compared to previous years, they also regard the channel to be more important for their own business and their clients.

Around three-quarters (74%) say mobile marketing will be very important in 2016 and a full 87% have developed – or are working on – a formal strategy to support their mobile efforts.

Encouragingly, of the 42% who already have a formal mobile strategy in place, more than half say it is "closely connected" with other marketing activities, while another 40% report that it is "somewhat connected".

The survey further revealed that most APAC marketers (62%) regard multi-screening to be the most significant consumer behaviour enabled by mobile, so reinforcing the finding that integration between mobile and other marketing channels is improving in the region.

Commenting on the report, Amy Rodgers, Research Editor at Warc, said: "These findings reveal a market that is developing its mobile capabilities rapidly. Now having four years of data, we can clearly see trends in mobile marketing in the region, revealing progress in investment, integration and use of mobile technologies.

"Budgets are climbing, and over the next few years we expect to see that applied to mobile video and mobile payment systems."

Data sourced from MMA, Warc