Smart Communications is eyeing a chunk of the P2.2-billion digital advertising business with its launch a new suite of mobile advertising services that can deliver time- and location-?sensitive ads to mobile phone users.
For the new business, Smart created in own mobile advertising division called Smart Ads.
Executed on or with mobile devices such as a smartphones and tablets, mobile marketing has the capability to deliver to a customer time and location sensitive, personalized advertisements promoting goods, services and even ideas.
The service is potentially lucrative for Smart since the Philippines was cited as the fastest-growing smartphone market in South East Asia, according to GfK Asia study in 2012.
Moreover, in 2011 the Nielsen Southeast Asia Digital Consumer Report revealed that almost two-thirds of Filipino mobile users have Internet-capable phones.
Mobile analytics outfit InMobi pointed out that 67 percent of mobile Internet users use their phones as their primary or exclusive access point to the Internet.
For decades, advertisers have devoted a bulk of their spending on primetime radio and television spots to reach the largest possible audience.
But with the rapid rise in mobile phone usage globally, advertisers no longer have to wait for their target market to go home and turn on their TV sets to get their message across.
With Smart Ads, the telco said companies have the potential to reach about 72 million mobile phone users.
?Already, about 12 million Smart subscribers have opted-in have and been profiled for mobile advertising. The figure is continuously growing as the majority of Smart subscribers are open to receiving mobile advertisement,? it said.
Aside from giving brands a wide and targeted reach, mobile offers deeper audience engagement, said Smart media convergence group head Leah Besa-Jimenez.
?The medium delivers more than awareness. It drives a sustained brand experience and creates opportunities for consumers to socialize with brands. Mobile is in every step of the whole purchasing cycle,? she said.
Smart is also touting its synergies with the rest of the PLDT group which includes TV5 and Sun Cellular to offer a good proposition for a converged or mixed media strategy.
Meanwhile, Smart and several industry partners have commissioned a pioneering industry study that will gauge the efficiency of brands’ mobile ads using text messages.
The research activity, to be conducted along with the Certified Digital Marketer (CDM) Program, Mobext, and the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (Pana), will provide information on the effectiveness of SMS campaigns, and provide measurable and valuable insights that can be used by brands for campaigns that will be forthcoming.
“In the Philippines, a lot of brands have employed SMS marketing campaigns to reach out to their customers, but no study has ever validated their effectiveness, or whether they provide adequate return on investment,” noted Besa-Jimenez.
Jimenez said the mobile effectiveness study will be the first in a series of industry-wide research that will be supported by Smart, in its efforts to further boost efficient mobile advertising practices in the country.
“We encourage brands who are still testing the waters in mobile marketing to join the study in the coming months so that we can better understand and help move the mobile advertising industry forward,” said Hans Roxas-Chua, CEO of the CDM Program.
The study is currently open to all Pana members with an existing active database of mobile users who have opted-in to receive mobile advertising messages from them. Pana is currently comprised of 320 member-companies that include both local and international brands operating in the country.
“Without a doubt, consumers can now be reached much easier and quicker through their mobile phones than any other medium out there,” said Digna Santos, Pana executive director.
“But before jumping into mobile advertising, brands need to know the most efficient ways to reach their consumers. This study aims to shed light on such methods.