Monday, May 14, 2007

The Mobile Ad Market in China

I was reading Helen's Keegan's blog and she had spotted this article on Contagious by Kaiser Kuo, group director, Digital Strategy at Ogilvy, explaining the ins and outs of using mobile marketing in China and it seems solid advice and comment to me. Here are some of the keypoints :

- Mobile phones have really taken off in China in a big way with mobile subsribers crossing the 500 million mark by next year. (there are more mobile phones in China than the population of US)

- Wap advertising is also on the increase with several Admob and Madhouse-a-likes sprouting up as well as a raft of mobile search companies. The mobile advertising and marketing industry is poised for growth.

- more than 120m Chinese subscribers have tried Wap and about 30 million or more use it regularly.

To sum up, Kaiser Kuo comes up with 10 top tips for running mobile marketing campaigns in China :

10 Tips for Mobile Marketing Campaigns in China

1. Target with maximum precision: Leverage available user data, and aim by time, place
2. Hard sell turns off more users than it switches on
3. Play by the rules, and don’t anger operators or regulators
4. Keep it simple: WAP destination sites should be idiot-proof, with limited choices. This goes back to the point on user experience
5. Know the technology’s capabilities, and play to those: Technology can drive creativity
6. Pull is better than push: avoid spam as much as possible
7. Know when to get on a fad—and when to get off it
8. Use mobile to access user info, and own that data: mobile ad is relationship marketing to build advertiser-user engagement
9. Reward users for viral behavior
10. Mobile alone doesn’t work: make it part of a bigger campaign

I want to add a few more important points to the above.
The first and most important is Permission, permission is the core of mobile marketing and with permission and relevance incorporated into the overall marketing mix strategy, its the recipe for good mobile marketing campaign in China.
Secondly is to analyze the mobile marketing campaign from the reports and data provided to evaluate on the effectiveness to better improve on-going and future campaigns. There are alot of trials and errors and only through understanding and actual experience that future campaigns can be executed more successfully.
Lastly, keep on trying, dont give up afterall mobile marketing is still a new thing. Its either that you choose to be on a sideline to see what others are doing or get in yourself and realize the true power of mobile marketing. I would strongly recommend you to read "Open your eyes and wake up your business" by Agustin Calvo where Agustin has put in simple perspective on the power of mobile marketing.


Technokitten said...

Thanks for the link! Re permission, this is often misunderstood by marketers in the context of mobile marketing so I talk about it more depth over on my blog at

The link is or

james White said...

Mobile Ad market is going to be massive in a a few years but if prices for mobile internet access do not decrease i can not see it ever achieving the level of advertisement seen on the normal internet websites.

Alvin Foo said...

Thanks for the comment james, totally agree with you on that point. The low access fee is definitely a main driver without which we will not get the average joe to access mobile internet on the fly.