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.

Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association APAC and Michael Yap, Deputy CEO at Media Development Authority (MDA).

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”.

Marcel Fenez, Global Leader Entertainment and Media, Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

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.

Bambos Kaisharis, Head of Consumer Goods, Southeast Asia at Google.

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.

Jason Chiu, CEO, Cherrypicks.
Left to right: Barney Loehnis Head, Digital, Asia Pacific Ogilvy & Mather and Carl Costa, Regional Director, SongHi Entertainment.

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.

Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association APAC and Anurag Sachdeva, Head-Music (CRBT), Location Based Services & Mobile Advertising, Aircel.
Left to right: Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association APAC; Xin Ye, Chief Executive Officer, Casee, A Velti company; Rahul Welde, Vice President, Media, Asia, Africa, Middle East and Turkey, Unilever and Ashutosh Srivastava, Chief Executive Officer, Mindshare Asia.
Left to right: Joseph Lumban Gaol, Chief Executive Officer, m-Stars; Lindayanti Harjono, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Telkomsel; Andi Sadha, Chief Executive Officer, Activate and Tommy Wattimena, Senior Vice President, Marketing, XL Axiata.
Michael Bayle, Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Mobile, ESPN.
Damien Cummings, Online Director, Asia Pacific and Japan, Dell.
Todd Paris, General Manager, Specialist Sales Asia and Americas, Microsoft Advertising.
Nick Seckold, Head of Digital, Asia Pacific, Mindshare Asia.
Victor Fernandez-Lahore, Director, Global Media Innovation, Unilever.
Left to right: Emmanuel Allix, CEO Aditic & Managing Director Sofialys APAC; Heather Wee, Head of New Media Maxis Communication Ltd; Susanna Hasenoehrl, Member of the APAC Education Task Force, Mobile Marketing Association, Joe Nguyen, Vice President, Southeast Asia & India, ComScore Inc.
Left to right: Daphne Loukas, Co-Founder and COO, Out There Media and Kerstin Trikalitis, CEO, Out There Media.
Left to right: Dr. KF Lai, Co-Founder and CEO, Buzzcity; Sonya Madeira-Stamp, Managing Partner, Rice Communications; Colin Miles, Chairman, MEF Asia; Devin Jeyathurai, Account Director, Rice Communications.
Jennifer Fein, Director of Product Solutions at Experian Asia Pacific and Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association APAC .
Left to right: Victor Fernandez-Lahore, Director, Global Media Innovation, Unilever; Barney Loehnis, Head, Digital, Asia Pacific Ogilvy & Mather and Trevor Healy, Chief Executive Officer, Amobee.