In a candid forum session at Spikes Asia 2012 in Singapore on Sunday, an expert panel discussed how brands must adapt to the media revolution and the “swirling world of new technology and connectivity”.
It saw both clients and agencies coming under fire, with Damien Cummings, regional marketing director, Samsung, kicking off the debate with assertion that the industry still doesn’t get mobile.
He said in order to get smart about mobile, brands and agencies must look to use it for selling products, such as allowing customers to access real-time reviews and ratings and price comparison.
“That’s how you should use mobile,” he said. “Some creative and media agencies partners come to me with an advertising solution, when what I need is a marketing solution. If you can fix that we will see a lot more creativity.”
Gregory Birge, founder and president of F5DIGITAL Group, agreed that creativity should not just be limited to advertising but should extend into digital too—something that is not happening at the moment, he said.
“Being creative on mobile is a fantastic playground,” he said. “It’s not about advertising, you can do as many apps as you want, SMS, MMS, none of them work; it’s all about context, content and consumer needs and how you put your brands in the context of that using mobile.”
He said the industry has a choice to see digital as something that makes the job “more difficult or fun” but he said it should not be seen as something to avoid.
“You can try and resist, but you are going to be in the same situation as the record industry 10 years ago that refused to accept digital downloads,” he said.
Birge added that it is the responsibility of agencies to educate clients about the benefits of mobile as well as the best ways to creatively utilise the platform.
But talking to Campaign Asia-Pacific panelist Yewleong Lee, executive director at Starcom MediaVest, said that it is not just up to media agencies to educate clients.
“These guys like Samsung and Nokia are the ones that work with the telcos pushing out content, so they know what sticks and what doesn’t, they know who is clicking on what content,” he said. “They are actually in a better position to tell us about this business than us.”
Lee said telcos could become a “force to be reckoned with” in the future as they utilise data they collect on consumer mobile habits.
“They will know what you do at any point of time of the day and they can even advise agencies or clients what kind of content is being engaged with, right down to the granular level,” he said.
This article first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific