Technology and marketing must merge: OCBC

The worlds of marketing and technology need to merge for marketers to fully leverage new channels, said chief marketing officer of OCBC, Madeline O'Connor, at the second day of the Mobile Marketing Summit 2012.

Speaking about the future of mobile marketing, she said complexity of the media landscape and a lack of understanding from marketers are the two key challenges obstructing the growth of mobile marketing.

O'Connor gave sobering facts on current mobile technology - only 6% of users have ever used QR code, just like NFC, which offers great opportunity but has a lack of reach.

While mobile display has a high click through rate of 0.64%, the bounce rate is also much higher than display ads, due to what she called "fat finger syndrome".

But marketers need to get up to speed. O'Connor quoted an IBM study, which said CMOs will have greater control of the IT budget than CIOs in a mere few years.

One example is logistics firm UPS. Michael McLary, director of Enterprise Strategy, took the stage to talk about how the company had been investing in technology, particularly mobile technology for its cost-efficiencies.

"Annually UPS spends a billion dollars in technology, it simplifies our supply chains," McLary said. For instance, it launched a mobile app to allow users to track their deliveries, which produced significant results for UPS.

Flipping to the other side of the coin, Vikas Gulati, vice president, Southeast Asia, spoke about how marketers looking to reach Asia need to remember that many markets, such as India and Indonesia are still feature phone markets.

"The mobile eco-system very different in emerging markets, because GDP there is a-fifth of developed markets. These tend to be "prepaid" card markets," said Gulati.

Quoting an IDC study, Gulati said that in India 92% of phones shipped this year will be feature phones and in Indonesia, out of the 52 million phones to be shipped, 89% will be feature phones.

While feature phones have constraints or limitations in terms of format, leveraging natural consumption behaviour would allow brands to achieve just as much impact on feature phones as on smartphones.

Following the sessions, the evening closed with a gala dinner, with delegates chatting over dinner and drinks.

The Mobile Marketing Summit is an invitation-only, two day event that is 100% focused on key issues related to marketing through mobile devices.