SYDNEY: Many mobile marketers have failed to properly understand the medium and are guilty of producing over-complicated material for users, a leading industry figure has claimed.

Consumers want utility, according to Tom Eslinger, worldwide director digital & social at Saatchi & Saatchi, but they tend to be faced with content that has been "designed by marketers more than user experience experts".

"A lot of people over-complicate what mobile is, but there is no need," he told AdNews. The rules were simple: "Don't make it look like spam, make it interesting and personal and something to share".

Eslinger also suggested that marketers needed to listen more. "Every time someone opens their phone they are expecting something to happen," he said, whether that was a message, a social post or a call. "The trick is using listening and measurement to work out when to put [the message] out," he stated.

Brands who got it wrong on a personal device could "mess things up for everyone" he argued. "If you get a text from someone you don't know it is freaky. The more you try to be personal without listening [the worse it becomes]."

But he felt that things were changing for the better – mobile was no longer just tagged on the end of a campaign, nor was the first reaction to reach for an app.

Further, it was now standard practice to "put the person at the end of the line at the front of the process".

Across the Asia-Pacific region, most marketers are aware of the significance of mobile but recent Warc research for an MMA report, State Of The Industry: Mobile Marketing In Asia Pacific, found that three quarters allocated 10% or less of marketing budgets to that channel, and a similar proportion of agencies reported clients did not have a formal mobile strategy in place.

"There is still a long way to go before brands and agencies in Asia Pacific understand the full potential of mobile for reaching consumers," said Edward Pank, Managing Director at Warc Asia Pacific.

Data sourced from Ad News; additional content by Warc staff