COMMUNICASIA, SINGAPORE--The mobile device presents a window of opportunities for marketers and advertisers not just because of its potential to increase smartphone shipment and penetration, but also to act as a bridge between the online and offline worlds. This, industry insiders say, can help boost returns on investment (ROI) for business brands.
"The opportunity [today] is really around mobile," David Ko, senior vice president of Zynga, said during his presentation here Wednesday at CommunicAsia 2011. He noted that just as global smartphone shipments are expected to increase, Zygna users are also demanding for optimized game experience on their mobiles.
For this reason, Zygna makes sure it offers mobile extensions of its various games, he said.
"[Integrating] mobile with traditional media [equals] higher ROI for advertisers, full-stop," said Narasimha Suresh, founder and CEO, Telibrahma Convergent Communications, who was also a speaker at the tradeshow.
Mobile can help brands achieve higher ROI from traditional media such as print and television because it bridges the gap between the online and offline worlds, Suresh highlighted during his presentation.
Consumers have already been "taught" digital experiences online such as clicking on hyperlinks and doing a Web search, he noted. With the mobile device, they can similarly "engage" with an offline medium such as a newspaper ad, he added.
Suresh gave an example of how Nike stores in India have advertisements that shoppers can look at on their mobile phones and from here, information about the products displayed will be pushed to the mobile screen when requested.
The same scenarios can be painted for shopping at grocery stores or viewing movie posters on newspapers when consumers flash their mobile device to interact with a static product or advertisement in the offline world, he explained.
Suresh noted: "It is customizing the [digital] brochure based on consumer interest."
Furthermore, the mobile can give targeted, "sharpened" context because device utilization is at the consumer's discretion, and also deliver enhanced user experiences thanks to its interactive and multimedia capabilities, he said.
Higher returns can be achieved from traditional media spending when mobile is interested to deliver rich-media engagements that focus on the customer, he concluded.
Christian Cadeo, Google's head of mobile for Southeast Asia, said: "Mobile, as a medium, is clearly material." Using Singapore as an example, he noted that 7 in 10 Singaporeans browse the Web on their mobile devices daily, and 3 out of 5 use social media on their device. In addition, 1 in 10 Singaporeans own a tablet.
Like Suresh, Cadeo pointed to the "creative" exploits of mobile to provide user experience that leverage the "uniqueness" of the mobile device. He also advocated HTML5 as a platform to ensure that the mobile strategy is "open" and "cross-platform".
He urged companies to build a mobile-optimized site that should be "designed for the thumb, not the mouse" and to avoid "data dump", or simply pouring data into the site.
"Mobile users hold grudges and move on if they aren't satisfied [with the mobile experience you give them]," Cadeo cautioned.