Alex Putineanu: With mobile marketing, consumers and brands connect in a very personal way: via mobile phone

Business, Digital & Media, Marketing, Mobile

Mobile marketing is on the wave for a while now and that happens all over the world, so Romania is aligning to the trends. Alex Putineanu, Managing Director MobileWorks (part of Lowe Group Romania), answered us couple of questions that help put together a picture of how Romanian mobile marketing market looks alike.

AdHugger: Marketing mobile for dummies: what is and why companies should use it?

Alex Putineanu:  Mobile marketing is the seventh and newest communication channel. As any new communication channel, its understanding by the companies and consumer’s adoption rate can be an obstacle in the start. Fortunately, 2012 was the end of the beginning for mobile marketing in Romania and, in 2013, we don’t ask anymore if mobile marketing is a luxury or a necessity. Consumers are present on mobiles, companies already invest consistent budgets in mobile marketing and the results of the campaigns are clear.

With mobile marketing, we can connect consumers to their favorite brands, in the most personal way possible, via their mobile phone.

We can divide mobile marketing in 3 technology stages: SMS Marketing, Mobile Internet and Native Mobile Applications. The penetration rate of SMS technology surpassed 100% for many years already, mobile internet’s penetration was 47% in the end of 2012 and Google estimates smartphone penetration will reach 40% by the end of 2013.

Looking at these information as a whole, we can say that now we can create integrated communication solutions on the mobile phone, combining all available technologies without worrying that we don’t have a big enough reach.

Alex Putineanu

AdH.: What does a client need to know before making a mobile marketing campaign? 

A.P.: The client must first and foremost speak with a mobile marketing agency 🙂

First and the most important step is understanding the target, to know if its clients use SMS-es, mobile internet or mobile apps, and also the way they use them.

As important is defining the reason why the brand wants to communicate on mobile, which are its communication objectives.

Combining insights on target and communication objectives, we will create a strategy and a mobile marketing concept.

Clients must be very attentive to the way they are approaching mobile marketing initiatives. Many times, a simple declination of the ATL or digital concept won’t be able to use at max this communication channel. If the mobile marketing campaign is part of an integrated communication one, it becomes more valuable, mobile marketing concept completing the ATL and digital ones, and will not be just a simple declination for those in the mobile

AdH: What is the category of client / business owner / consumer that mobile marketing reaches the best?

A.P.: We certainly can say that it impacts on any category. The value of mobile marketing campaigns isn’t defined by the industry they are applied to. As I was saying, the value of a mobile marketing campaign comes from understanding the target, of the objectives and from building an adequate strategy based on those.

It is true, domains such as Telecom, FMCG, retail and banking are the pioneers of this communication channel, as a consequence of their targets and communication objectives, but, in the same time, all the industries can be applied this concept.

AdH.: What differentiates MobileWorks from its competitors on the market?

A.P.: Being the first mobile marketing agency, part of a communication group, once with our launch in February 2012, a new  chapter opened in Romanian mobile marketing. Mobile became an important communication channel, recognized by the big players on the market and that cannot be absent from the communication mix.

Depending on the objectives and the complexity of demands that come from the clients, our competition can be considered any agency of sms/mobile marketing agency, digital agency or freelancers. Still, at MobileWorks, we offer more than SMS campaigns, apps or mobi-sites or an innovative add-on for a digital campaign. We are handling mobile phone communication and all our products, no matter the budget, will be approached and made as such. Only in this way we can combine all mobile marketing tools (SMS, apps, mobi-sites, QR codes, AR and so on) to deliver the experiences wanted by consumers and the ROI expected by the clients.

Mobile Works is also, in the same time, the only company in the field that has its own tech lab.

AdH: What is most used in mobile marketing on Romanian market at this time? Why?

A.P.:  SMS remains the predominant component of the Romanian mobile marketing market and the reason is simple, it has a headstart of almost 10 years, with a tech penetration rate of over 100% and very good results for SMS campaigns were proved many times.

When it comes of percentages, the value of SMS campaigns decreased during last few years, although a small increase in the volume of sent SMS-es is visible. The decrease of SMS value is due to the intense competition on SMS providers market.

In the same time, the campaigns with a predominant component of mobile marketing, mobile apps or integrated mobile marketing campaigns are growing exponentially.

Mobile marketing market has a double digit growth due to modern technologies’ penetration.

AdH: Which are the trends at global /CEE level and how do you think they will be applied on the local market?

A.P.: Global and local trends aren’t different. The only difference is the penetration rate and the intensity in using smartphones.

Penetration rate keeps on growing, tech advances allow us to be more and more creatives, the budgets for mobile communication solutions are growing exponentially and, due to the increase of smartphones penetration, the profit of mobile communication campaign is increasing

AdH: Did tablets contribute to the development of mobile marketing market?

A.P.: For sure the tablets have a contribution in developing the mobile marketing market, but not as much as smartphones. In 2012, in Romania there were sold 1M smartphones and 200.000 tablets, the trend is ascending and an increase on the tablets segment is expected for the next period.

Alex Putineanu 2

AdH: Are mobi-sites fashion or necessity? Why?

A.P.: Considering that navigating on websites that aren’t optimized is an extremely unpleasant experience, sometimes even impossible, and the fact that we have to make sure that any interaction with the brand is a good one for any client, the answer is YES, mobi-sites are a necessity.

From out point of view, if you have a client that tries to access your website from his mobile phone, you need to offer him a pleasant experience, otherwise he will look for alternatives to get the information he is interested in.

Still, developing a complete mobile website from the start can be unprofitable. To get a good ROI from a mobile site, it is important to understand why your users are entering your website from their mobiles.

If the users are strictly looking for the contact data, than it suffice to develop just a landing page that will contain the contact data, and for additional info you refer towards the desktop website. This is an investment that can mean just couple hundreds Euro.

As the number of users accessing the website from mobile increases and the info they look for become more and more complex, the complete adaptation of the website to the mobile phone becomes a necessity.

Our recommendation is that any site that is accessed by over 5% of its users from the mobile phone to be analyzed in detail so the informational architecture and design would be optimized for the mobile consumption habits.

AdH: You make share of know-how with mobile marketing workshops. What is the reason that determined you to make this workshops? 

A.P.: One of our objectives is to help the market to understand better mobile marketing’s potential and how to use it to achieve their communication objectives. More than that, we are trying to highlight the creativity, the key in mobile marketing. This way, mobile marketing cannot be perceived as just a simple declination of the traditional online.

The most natural way we can do those things is through these workshops, where the clients are exposed also to the mobile marketing communication theory, but also to successful case studies and, more than anything, to interactive exercises.

AdH: Do you think we will become an extension of our smartphones?

A.P.: Smartphones are already an as natural as possible extension of ourselves. We can even consider them a 7th sense, because, through them, we are constantly connected to all information we ever need. Being permanently connected to information is not a trifle. In 2013, it is a necessity and only smartphones can satisfy that.