The optimistic messages coming out of the recent Mobile Marketing Forum held in Singapore on 23rd to 25th April included the quote ‘Prime time is all the time’. Time spent on the mobile has surpassed print and it seems we can reach people wherever and whenever. What seems to bug the players in the mobile media is that ad spends do not seem to have caught up with reality. Mobile is still getting a small share even from the online budgets.
There was a 500% increase in attendances at this 5th annual Mobile Marketing Forum organised by the Mobile Marketing Association. Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Asia Pacific of MMA set the tone in his opening remarks by saying that the mobile industry must have a consumer centric strategy and away from the devices and technology. This theme was repeated throughout the conference.
This did not however, stop intense discussions between carriers, media owners, media buyers, technologists and manufacturers during the coffee breaks.
Michael Yap, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Media Development Authority in Singapore painted an impressive picture of the investment that the government was making in developing the industry by, for example, funding 200 start-ups, inviting foreign teams to work in Singapore for short periods and creating alliances with overseas universities to encourage research into the digital field.
Mr Yap was rather let down by the quality of his presentation slides. He was not the only one either! Fortunately, the guys from the media agencies balanced it by showing some really neat ones.
Marcel Fenez, Global Leader Entertainment & Media at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, gave an excellent presentation full of memorable bites like, “1 in 5 minutes online are now spent on social networks” and “50% of online ads in the near future will have video content, according to Google”.
Bambos Kaisharis, Head of Consumer Goods, Southeast Asia at Google also dangled some interesting statistics such as 28% of people check into a social network before getting out of bed and in three years tablet sales will exceed that of PC sales. He also mentioned that, unlike mobile phones, tablets are shared between 2.6 people.
Another fact that was brought up by several speakers was that 79% of advertisers do not have a mobile optimised site. Yet more people access the web by mobile devices than by desktop computers. You can sense the frustration of these mobile missionaries.
Jason Chiu, CEO of Cherrypicks, and Barney Loehnis, Head of Digital, Ogilvy & Mather, Asia Pacific, stood out to AdAsia as perhaps the best presenters.
MMA and the Grand Hyatt also managed to offer the delegates wonderful hospitality. The conference room on the Mezzanine floor had an adjoining lounge with non-stop coffee and Buzz City sponsored lunch with a choice of dining at the Straits Kitchen as well as the Mezzanine restaurant.
The MMA Forum offered food for the mind and body and left us with an appetite for more.
This is an industry which knows its time has come. It is now impatient to see the rewards after the slow, lean years.