Mobext’s Arthur Policarpio on the quest for the mobile experience ‘sweet spot’ | M&M Global

Mobext’s Arthur Policarpio on the quest for the mobile experience ‘sweet spot’

Ahead of next week’s Festival of Media Asia Pacific in Singapore, M&M Global caught up with Arthur Policarpio, head of Mobext, Havas Media’s Philippines-based mobile arm.

Arthur Policarpio

M&M Global: How sophisticated are advertisers in their use of mobile in the Philippines, and the wider APAC region?

Policarpio: “Mobile adoption on the part of Philippine advertisers are increasing. Based on a 2014 survey amongst marketers conducted by Mobext and the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA), 54% of Philippine marketers are currently investing in mobile, up from 48% in the previous year.

“Marketers are also growing increasingly sophisticated with mobile. Whereas in 2013 majority of marketers were primarily SMS-driven in their mobile efforts, 2014 saw marketers investing in more sophisticated mobile strategies, such as investing in mobile sites (63%), mobile apps (63%), and mobile-social initiatives (56%).”

What consumer trends are driving the increased use of mobile marketing?

“The low prices of entry-level smartphones, as well as decreasing cost of mobile data, has led to a boom in Smartphone penetration in the country. In fact, the Philippines is one of the fastest-growing Smartphone markets in Asia. Currently, smartphone penetration is at around 40%.

“We have found that when a consumer experiences ownership of a smartphone device for the first time, his/her overall media consumption habits completely change. For smartphone users, mobile is now actually the primary screen in terms of daily time spent, overtaking television and desktop internet usage.

“This is what is driving the increased use of mobile marketing, since marketers can now provide more engaging, immersive and meaningful brand experiences to mobile users via smartphones.”

What advice would you have for clients without mobile as part of their business strategy – what steps could or should they take?

“In a world where mobile is increasing becoming the primary screen for most consumers, it is imperative for marketers to adopt a truly mobile-first approach in all aspects of their business.

“Mobile is a technology that truly has a transformative power – it can enable companies to leapfrog the competition by re-inventing various aspects of their business operations, such as marketing, distribution, customer service, research and product development.

“My recommendation is for marketers to at the very least start testing mobile in a small way. Experiment in a small scale then scale up investment once there are demonstrated ROI numbers with the initial experiments.”

What wider trends do you think are driving the media and marketing industries in 2015?

“Getting customer information has always been a challenge for marketers, especially over mobile. In 2014, we proved that customers are willing to part with their information but only in exchange for a valuable enough experience. The challenge in 2015 will be finding that sweet spot, creating the types of experiences customers crave. This year is all about personalisation – smart data over big data.

“The rise of content marketing and native advertising has also made transparency a serious issue this year. Marketers and advertisers will drive innovation by experimenting with various formats of branded content, trying to figure out a way for the piece to be upfront about its intentions but still blend in with its environment.”

Arthur Policarpio will be speaking at Festival of Media Asia Pacific 2015 with McDonald’s Philippines VP marketing Margot Torres on the topic, ‘Building a sustainable mobile business’.

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