MALAYSIA is quickly becoming one of the most important mobile markets in southeast Asia . . . and some of its companies are on the cutting edge of the industry.
With a population of about 30 million people and mobile penetration of more than 100%, perhaps it's not surprising that there is strong growth in mobile traffic.
The BuzzCity Mobile Advertising Network registered more than 53 million page views in Malaysia during the month of May, making it one of our top fifteen markets. Quarterly traffic increased 14% from January to March as compared with the last quarter of 2009.
Mobile ad growth is occurring in tandem with the creation of interesting mobile applications, content and properties.
In this blog entry, I'd like to highlight an example from the country's national flag carrier, Malaysia Airlines. It's launched a customised mobile site where passengers can book tickets, make payments, check-in and even track the status of delayed baggage.
Flymas.mobi will generate a 2-D boarding pass, so if you only have carry-on luggage, you can skip the check-in counter and proceed right to the gate.
The application also easily connects to social networks so friends and colleagues can share information about bookings on Dopplr, Facebook and TripIt.
When MAS developed the mobile property, they did not simply miniaturise the company's website. Instead, they started from scratch and developed a single application, with one link, that does not require download. Flymas.mobi, according to the airline, is “the most comprehensive menu of mobile phone functionality available to airline passengers anywhere in the world.”
To increase awareness of the mobile portal and drive passengers to make use of its services, MAS ran an advertising campaign in April. Ads appeared on television, in the print media, on social networks and, of course, on mobile, where MAS ran both text and graphic banners.
The ads had a direct straight-forward message and ran across all mobile channels in Malaysia during a three week campaign.
Generally, I advise clients to run a campaign for at least two to three months. Three weeks is really quite short, but MAS was still happy with the results.
The carrier had a daily mobile ad budget of US$300. It bid 30 cents per click, which at the time was likely the highest bid in Malayia.
(The minimum bid in Malaysia is US$0.01. The recommended bid, which is one cent over the highest existing bid in the country, is 31 cents. At that rate, an advertiser is guaranteed of placing its entire ad inventory ahead of any competitors.)
When MAS runs its next campaign, I would advise them to make two changes.
One, create an interactive element, such as a link for consumers to register for a lucky draw (which in this case, could be for a free flight.) Creating a page for users to provide feedback is also a great way to get some free market research and find out what consumers think of your brand.
Two, track the leads – and sales – that are generated by the ads. Use the BuzzCity Ad Reports to monitor the demographics of users who have clicked on the campaigns. Then monitor the percentage of consumers who go on to buy tickets.
Finally, next time you're planning to advertise, use the BuzzCity Campaign Planner – at planner.buzzcity.com – to review the latest market stats. Figure out which channels, which handsets, which mobile platforms are most popular in your target countries and calculate how many people your ad will reach.