Social growth and m-commerce drive mobile advertising spend to $62bn in APAC

After a year when marketing budgets have been significantly impacted by the global pandemic, mobile has proved to be one of the most resilient media.

Marketers in APAC, leaders in mobile adoption, are incorporating a mobile-first approach driven by increased opportunities to reach consumers by social and m-commerce, driving up digital advertising budgets in the region to $120bn this year, of which mobile is set to be worth $62bn, per WARC Data.

These are some of the key findings included in Architecting the future of marketing in APAC: The use of Mobile in the digital marketing mix, an annual report released today by WARC, the global authority on effective marketing, in association with the MMA, the world’s leading non-profit mobile trade association.

The report is based on an online survey of 466 marketing professionals based in APAC – a mix of client-side, agency, media owner and technology vendor marketers – carried out in July and August 2021 by WARC,  in association with the MMA. 

Providing a current snapshot into the use of mobile in APAC as a tool for advertising effectively, as well as opportunities and concerns – the study outlines the following key findings: 

  1. Marketing professionals are expecting mobile budget growth this year
    Nearly three in four (72%) are expecting their mobile budget to increase this year. Last year only half said the same (48%).
  2. Social is the most used and most prioritised channel for mobile marketing
    Nine-tenths (89%) of respondents are using social in their mobile marketing strategy and, on average, a third of the mobile budget goes toward social. YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are the biggest platforms for display marketing, while TikTok is dominating partnership marketing.
  3. Mobile commerce has been accelerated due to the pandemic
    Nearly nine in ten marketers have experienced improved m-commerce capabilities and three fifths of respondents have named commerce as the most significant consumer behaviour in 2021.
  4. The cookie death will have a significant effect on the marketing industry
    Even though the end of the third party cookie has been delayed, three in five marketers are predicting an impact to their business by the ‘death’ of the cookie.
  5. Media owners in APAC are investing in data capture and data analysis of mobile audiences
    Audiences are mainly monetised through video and display advertising, although there is a growing opportunity for monetisation through e-commerce.
  6. The future of mobile technology seeks to connect the online and offline, particularly through AI and machine learning, mobile wallets and smart homes
    Respondents are investing significant budget into mobile martech to ensure they keep up with the latest innovations in the industry, especially as interest in AI grows.

Summing up, Amy Rodgers, Managing Editor Research and Rankings, WARC, said: “The combination of increased e-commerce demand with increased use of social media, accelerated by the pandemic, has led to more purchase journeys being completed on mobile and innovations in shoppable media, providing significant opportunities for marketers to monetise their mobile audiences.”

Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director, MMA APAC, added: “Mobile has consistently been an effective marketing channel in APAC and plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of digital marketing. With innovations now linking offline and online together like never before, marketers are making significant investments in mobile marketing technologies to ensure they keep up with their competition. I hope this study will empower more marketers to leverage the channel as it continues to be a disruptive force across industries.”

A sample report is available to download here. The full report is available to WARC subscribers and MMA members. A similar report is available for EMEA.  

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