April 30, 2014

pan_3711“The best mobile campaigns are the ones that work with other media.”

This insight from Arthur Policarpio, head of award-winning mobile marketing agency Mobext, is one of the most significant takeaways of PANA’s April GMM.

The reality of what Mr. Policarpio calls the “Smartphone Age” is upon us. In the Philippines, 39 percent of the population already owns smartphones, and the country is the fastest growing smartphone buyer in the ASEAN region at 75 percent year on year growth.

The way people consume media is changing, especially if there is to be a smartphone in virtually every hand.

It’s not just smartphones either, tablets, mini-tablets, are also intensifying the multi-screen behavior of consumers today.

There is a need for marketing communications to “innovate or die”, Mr. Policarpio says.

Brands need to find a way above and beyond their ordinary means of reaching consumers in this smartphone age. Here, Mr. Policarpio shares five mobile innovations that will bring marketing into the future:

Mobile Messaging 2.0

Multi-messaging apps for smartphones, like WhatsApp, WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk allow users to exchange text and voice messages, photos, videos and location over data connection, and offer social networking capabilities as well.

With millions of users around the world and billions of messages sent globally everyday – 500 million users and 50 billion messages per day in the case of WhatsApp – these apps are more exciting alternatives to SMS, where messages could be embellished with stickers or animated icons.

WeChat, developed in China, makes flight bookings directly with South China Airlines possible. Thirsty? Grab a drink from one of the WeChat vending machines in Beijing and get a discount if you pay via WeChat.

Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo’s catalog is available on WeChat – along with a slew of online fashion and lifestyle related activities contacts/friends could enjoy with Uniqlo.

Local online retailer Lozado offers mobile coupons to its WeChat contacts.

Location-based Marketing

Geo-targeted SMS allows a fast food chain like McDonald’s to send potential diners nearby a discount coupon for food and drinks, or Globe Telecom from texting shoppers inside a mall to visit the Globe store to avail a gift certificate for use in the mall.

The new iBeacon technology connects with smartphones through Bluetooth so that retailers may send customers inside their stores targeted information about their products: product reviews, product ratings, special offers and product information.

Mobile CRM

Opt-in call-to-action (text to receive your free trial pack, text to receive a special offer) on a print ad or billboard helps a brand build a database of its consumers.

Having a good database enables brands to strengthen and maintain relationships with its loyal users, connect with users having specific interests and reconnect with dormant users.

Social = Mobile

Social is mobile. People access and update on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest using their mobiles virtually as events happen.

A restaurant’s whole menu could easily be posted on Instagram by diners, with likes, hashtags and re-posts making favorite dishes go viral.

Mobilizing Traditional Media

Traditional media becomes a two-way conversation with mobile. It enriches the experience with brands, engages people with print like never before and makes images on TV reach across space to viewers.

The technology to make all these possible with mobile is already in the Philippines. It’s now a matter of making use of it.

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