Asia Pacific was already a leader in mobile adoption before COVID-19 struck and the pandemic has further pushed the channel to the forefront, with mobile playing a significant role in the purchase journey and mobile video now a priority for marketers, according to a new WARC report.

Published today, The State of the Industry: Mobile Marketing in APAC, is based on a survey of 591 marketing professionals across APAC, carried out in June and July 2020 by WARC on behalf of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).

Amy Rodgers, Managing Editor Research & Rankings, WARC, summarised the report: “Despite reduced budgets brought on by COVID-19, marketers in APAC are going big on investing in mobile. The channel is providing brands with opportunities such as mobile video, social and m-commerce, to engage effectively with consumers in the region.”

The main findings are outlined below.

Mobile video and location data are the main focus areas for marketing professionals

Nearly all marketing professionals (95%) in the region considering mobile advertising effective and that almost half (48%) are planning to focus on mobile video in their advertising (that figure dips to 45% in India and 36% in Indonesia).

Facebook and YouTube are highly popular in South-East Asia, particularly via mobile, and watching video is considered one of the most significant consumer behaviours for the industry this year.

Location data is the biggest technology for marketers, according to nearly half of respondents (46%) and offers unique opportunities to reach highly targeted audiences

COVID-19 has made an impact but mobile budgets are resilient

Nearly two-fifths (38%) of marketing professionals across APAC are allocating more than 30% of their budget to mobile marketing – a seven percentage point increase from 2019. In India, one-fifth (20%) are allocating more than 35% and in Indonesia one-quarter (26%) are allocating more than 40% of their marketing budget to mobile.

Though COVID-19 has had an inevitable impact on budgets – 30% of respondents across APAC, 27% in India and 46% in Indonesia, expect their mobile budgets to decrease – the channel has been one of the least-impacted by the pandemic as consumers have turned to their mobiles for tasks and activities normally carried out in person.

Metrics and measurement remain the biggest barriers to growth

Despite mobile being considered a highly effective channel by almost all respondents, they face a challenge in measuring its impact. The huge amounts of data available are making it more difficult to understand which metrics to measure and how to use the data efficiently.

Engagement metrics are used most often to measure mobile effectiveness (68% across APAC, 63% in India, 71% in Indonesia) while business metrics are growing year on year, going from being used by 53% of marketers in APAC in 2018 to 57% in 2020. In India 55% are using behavioural metrics and 69% in Indonesia.

Creating content specifically for mobile is increasingly important as mobile audiences continue to rise

Nearly three-fifths (58%) of APAC marketers are creating mobile specific content as a strategy to improve engagement, and the majority of marketing professionals (84%) are considering ad length and design for mobile when creating mobile content.

In India, the majority (69%) of respondents use personalisation to increase engagement with 60% doing so in Indonesia.

The growth of m-commerce is driving developments in shoppable ads and live video shopping.

Samples of the APAC, India and Indonesia report are available to download here. The full reports are available to WARC subscribers and MMA members. A similar report was recently released for EMEA

Sourced from WARC, MMA