• Smart Ads target big chunk of digital advertising business

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    MOBILE phone users are experiencing an evolution—from once visiting their favorite store to now checking if their favorite products are available online. From calling a cab operator and ordering delivery from an online menu to booking an entire vacation online, all of these can be done using a mobile phone.

    Most Asian countries have big mobile advertising markets because of the growing number of smartphone and mobile device users, especially in the Philippines. This is one of the reasons why mobile advertising spending in Asia is expected to grow to $11 billion in three years.

    Recognizing the trend, Smart Communications Inc., wholly owned subsidiary of Philippine Long Distance Co. (PLDT), is eyeing a chunk of the digital advertising business and has just launched a new suite of mobile advertising services that can deliver time- and location-+sensitive ads to mobile phone users.

    Smart created its 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 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,” Smart Media Convergence Group head Leah Besa-Jimenez told reporters at a roundtable discussion.

    Fastest-growing smartphone market
    The service is potentially lucrative for Smart since the Philippines has been cited as the fastest-growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia, according to a GfK Asia study in 2012.

    Moreover, in 2011, a 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.

    And according to Smaato Inc., he Philippines has a 14-percent smartphone penetration rate among Asian countries which can be exploited by companies for their advertising programs.

    Smaato is the global industry leader in mobile real-time bidding advertising exchange.

    Earlier reports have shown that Filipinos spend an average of 171 minutes or almost three hours a day using their smart phones, a study conducted by global information and measurement company Nielsen showed.

    Nielsen’s Informate Mobile Insights report also said that the Philippines continues to be one of the fastest-growing markets for smartphones in Southeast Asia.

    In a separate study, TNS, a customized market research company, said all facets of mobile phone usage that include mobile browsing, social networking, chatting and checking emails have dramatically increased in Metro Manila.

    The survey said smartphones are affecting consumer behavior and giving businesses a new window for strategic marketing. The survey also found that a string of activities are most commonly done on smartphones, including social networking and application use, while 87 percent watch their videos from their mobile devices.

    A majority of smart phone users were also found to multitask while on mobile, like watching television, reading a magazine, or listening to music while using the Internet on their device.

    Searching also stands out in smartphone usage — a sizeable chunk or 88 percent of users do research for a product or service on their phones. About 63 percent searched on topics such as product information, 53 percent on travel, 49 percent on restaurants and bars, and 38 percent even searched for apartment or housing information.

    PLDT has said these are the technologies and services that the country needs to develop to improve the welfare of the people and to raise the global competitiveness of Philippine enterprises and industries.

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