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In Asia-Pacific, Marketers Direct Mobile Ad Efforts Toward Social

Region’s wealthy, social-focused smartphone users are an attractive target

April 10, 2017 | Mobile | Mobile

Since consumers in Asia-Pacific are mobile-centric, they are accessing their favorite social media services using mobile devices. This preference for mobile is having a big impact on ad spending in the region, with paid social campaigns on popular platforms like Facebook shifting increasingly toward mobile channels.

According to an August 2016 survey by Hakuhodo, which investigated the habits of middle- and high-income smartphone owners in select cities in Asia-Pacific, more than half of respondents accessed social media using their device. Perhaps even more interesting for marketers is the report’s middle- and high-income respondent sample, suggesting the consumer spending potential of the cohort.

Middle- to High-Income Smartphone Owners in Select Cities in Asia-Pacific Who Use Social Media via Smartphone, Aug 2016 (% of respondents)

Hakuhodo’s findings align with eMarketer’s estimates of mobile-focused smartphone access in the region, with a November 2016 forecast predicting that more than 90% of Facebook users in Asia-Pacific will log on to the site via their mobile device this year.

This growing preference for mobile access of social networks in Asia-Pacific hasn’t been lost on the region’s advertisers, who are shifting spending toward mobile-focused social advertising at an increasing rate. One example of the trend is the proportion of company spending allocated toward Facebook’s mobile, rather than desktop, ad platform.

Desktop vs. Mobile Share of Facebook Ad Spending Worldwide, by Region, Q4 2016 (among impressions analyzed by Nanigans)

According to January 2017 data compiled by Nanigans, mobile’s share of Facebook ad spending in Q4 2016 in Asia-Pacific was 88%, at least 10 percentage points higher than any other geographic region worldwide.

It’s a finding that was echoed in a December 2016 eMarketer article examining mobile marketing trends in the region, pointing to an overwhelming focus on social as the main channel for mobile-focused marketing.

Jeremy Kressmann

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