Embracing permission-based marketing in Asia

The term ‘permission-based marketing’ is well-known in many regions around the world. Popularized by marketing guru Seth Godin, it has helped brands overcome the issue of being interruptive in their engagement with consumers.

We have touched on this several times on this blog, looking at how to encourage customer loyalty and ensure consumer privacy, sharing our insights and thoughts on how brands can use the mobile channel most effectively. And we have reported live on this topic from the likes of Dubai, Istanbul and Berlin. Now, however, we turn our attention to a highly interesting region when it comes to mobile marketing – Asia.

We recently spoke at the 7th Annual Mobile VAS conference in Jakarta. What we really tried to highlight at this conference was how to achieve that complex balance between customer satisfaction and operator profitability. We also discussed how mobile Value Added Services in conjunction with permission-based marketing can provide the balancing act.

While the Asian mobile value added services (VAS) market is evolving and permission-based marketing is on the agenda, operators are not in favor of giving consumers opt-out measures. Regulators were also in attendance and they are struggling to find the right balance between operators and subscribers.

In Indonesia for example, as VAS regulations are yet to be approved by the regulator and, once approved, would need to be passed as a bill by the President of Indonesia, it may take another three to six months before these are enforced.

The update from India was that regulations would be confirmed and made mandatory, although operators have yet to implement these in a coherent manner.

It’s important that regulators and operators in this vast region come to some agreement, and quickly, as there are major advantages to be had for telecom providers, consumers and the overall industry.

Experian recently claimed that mobile will be the most powerful marketing tool in Singapore by 2015, and Jon Russell at The Next Web has reported on the hugely successful mobile marketing campaign Coca-Cola ran in Hong Kong.

So mobile marketing has huge potential across the Asian region, and there are parallels to be drawn with current market dynamics. It’s encouraging to note that operators and regulators are looking to collaborate for the benefit of the consumer but there is still some way to go.