SINGAPORE: A majority of brands in Asia-Pacific do not have a formal strategy for mobile, despite believing it will play a major role in the coming year, a study has revealed.

Warc, in partnership with the Mobile Marketing Association, carried out research on behalf of the Festival of Media Asia in February 2013 to gauge the attitudes of client-side advertisers and marketing services agencies towards mobile marketing. There were 225 responses from 18 markets in Asia-Pacific.

The survey found that 90% of Asian marketers believe mobile will play a major role during 2013, rating it as 'very important' or 'quite important' to their plans for the year.

But less than a third of brand advertiser respondents – just 29% – said they had a formal strategy for mobile. And among agency respondents, 42% reported that the majority of their clients had no mobile strategy.

"The study underlines the marketing industry's uncertainty when it comes to the rapidly expanding mobile channel," said Edward Pank, Managing Director at Warc Asia-Pacific.

"Both brands and agencies in Asia recognise that mobile will be an important platform for reaching consumers," he stated. "But the medium is so new and developing so rapidly, that many brands are still working out how best to use it."

He concluded: "It's clear that there's a lot of work to be done in this area in 2013."

Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association Asia Pacific declared: "The tools and technology are out there, but brands and agencies have to be willing to take risks in order to make the most of the opportunity."

When asked about the types of mobile marketing Asia-Pacific marketers are most interested in this year, the top responses were app development (cited by 49% of respondents), mobile display (48%) and mobile-based social marketing (46%).

In the future, mobile-based content is expected to grow in importance. Just 32% cited this as a priority for 2013, but 40% expect it to be a priority over the next five years.

Regionally, Japan (16%) and South Korea (15%) are viewed as the most innovative nations for mobile marketing in Asia-Pacific.

Charlie Crowe, CEO of C Squared and founder of the Festival of Media Asia, which takes place in Singapore from 3-5 March, said the survey showed that "mobility is something that marketers desperately want to understand better" and the Festival of Media would be addressing this issue.

The full results of the survey can be found at

Data sourced from Warc/Mobile Marketing Association; additional content by Warc staff