Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mobile Marketing?

Singapore sent a total of 911 million mobile text messages for February alone in 2007. With a population of 4.6 million, you really wonder how the billion messages came about when the island is conveniently and nicely connected wirelessly as well.

In a recent effort by the Singapore government to comprehend Mas Selamat, the head of terrorist body - JI, who had escaped the detention centre in early March, all three major telecommunications body sent out MMS with the criminal's photo and notice to all mobile phones within their mobile network.

In 2007, an SMS by an innocent staff of a remote pet shop claiming it was closing down and all the pets if unadopted, will be put to sleep in SPCA that resulted in an island-wide call for adopters whereby the influencing effect was overwhelming, sending thousands of phone calls to the pet shop, and ended up with a news space on the national newspaper - The Straits Times (well, if they had such marketing in the start, they wouldn't need to close down).

These are just some recent examples of the power of mobile marketing although it has never really taken off in Singapore. Just how effective and to what extend of success can it be? Advertisements definitely don't respond too well on SMS, but social sympathy works the best. SMS in this island has saved lifes, from patients looking for blood marrows to rare blood groups to whatever, it has played a huge part in making TV Charity and Singing competitions a success. It has earned millions in the format of SMS games and downloads. But using it as a marketing tool? Hmm.... just how? I don'thave a distinct answer for it just yet.

Text Messages were never very popular in the States. Until American Idol came into the picture. The telecommunication companies jumped on the wagon and developed a system with American Idol to use SMS as the voting platform in supporting their idols. And what happened? It took on a significant 70% increase (let me check the numbers and edit again) in text message users. Only at this point did America realised that it's a very simple and attractive messaging tool for communication. And how did that help America Idol? The channel of direct participation only made it even bigger than it is. American Idol is a star. Revolutionary in both TV and marketing industry.

So what may be some of the more probable use of mobile marketing? I was thinking it could be tapped on as a platform for CSR events. When it's for a good cause, people reads. (Of course, in Singapore, that includes anything that is free.) But good cause usually gets the word around, while ads don't. Send something you would be inclined to forward yourself. But remember, SMS doesn't works for direct sales, it just gives you a larger coverage on your core campaign. It may serve as a good support, but it should be carefully used and never spamed.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Report on Digital Marketing and Internet Penetration in APAC

For a start, I'm sharing a very interesting finding with all of you. It is known as the most comprehensive set of data and insight for digital marketing for Asia Pacific available in one place. I have found this report very interesting and some quite surprising findings as well. It definitely gave me a good understanding of the APAC market.

You can download at pdf file at http://www.asiadma.com/downloads/research/pdf/100040/ADMA_Digital_Marketing_Yearbook_April_2007_3.pdf

As China's internet population is increasing tremendously, there leaves alot of undeveloped markets and potentials in this huge and ready untapped consumers. As compared to countries like Singapore and Hong Kong, which are relatively small in size, digital marketing makes less money sense in reaching out to the small population as compared to print media. As seen in the report, print and TV are still the primary and preferred source of information in these two places. However in China, there seem to be a steady increase of importance for information disseminated through the internet, and growing as the primary choice for interest such as entertainment.

However, despite the growing trend and potential of digital marketing, and it creating so much hype in and around the world, internet is still not considered as the deciding medium for making a purchase, or creating awareness. Is digital marketing really just being overly hyped or is it because it's unrealised.

Needless to say, and without denial. Web 2.0 has brought about much changes in to our modern lifes. Just as I am writing to you here, it is only possible with the rise of the 2.0 generation. However, just how much influence has it made to the way we think, behave and live? These are points for ponder.

Most people are too eager to jump on the wagon (probably including myself), without understanding the true influence and effectiveness. Thus, truck loads of money are thrown into this pool without seeing any returns on the dollar. This has caused alot of doubts many corporations may have on digital marketing. Everyone knows it's important (and expensive), but it just doesn't provides the KPI and desired awareness as compared to the old ole measurable traditional media. So what went wrong?

Well, the fact that the internet savvy are largely made up between 18 - 35, we are talking to a group of consumers who changes very quickly and more often than not, make up the trends we see on the streets. However, these people are getting too smart for "in your face" advertisements, and overwhelmed with so many infinite creatives and attempts to reach their interest, the borderless internet makes it hard to capture a definite number of these people. Your campaign can turn to nothing, or it can also become the next big thing. No most successful marketeer is able to swear by any KPI to measure internet success. It is only as big as it can get. Also, corporation objectives should be very precise. We must first understand that this is not the best and most effective channel for making a sales difference to your product. However, internet has a very effective multiplying and influencing effect which can travel on and on beyond your core campaign period. In this context, it makes thorough money sense. But it's not everyday you come face to face with such effective marketing stints.

With shrunk advertising dollars, it is not surprising that most coporations put sales as top of the list objective. And so, they must be careful with choosing a viable and measurable markerting medium that will translate into income at the end of the day. They should first realise that digital marketing is not for everyone. What's trendy doesn't mean it is effective. It is only effective when you ultilize its possibilities. Without a clear objective and business direction in mind, the most creative ads will still fail you. My suggestion is, keep to one primary objective. The problem with many Marcomm departments is that they try to do too much with the same dollar.

Remember, if you are a hotdog kiosk, don't attempt to reach the same group of people as Macdonalds. It's gonna flop.

Market-Share Unit One

Hello folks,
Welcome to Market-Share!

There's one single reason why I'm here... because I found that sharing information is a great way to learn and exchange. And on and off, I manage to dig various data from the internet and find it most interesting and significant to many market conditions. So here I am. This is all about marketing, future of digital marketing and other interesting conditions in the communications field.

Belinda Ang