Taiwan’s Appier says advertisers in Asia must look beyond mobile-only as report finds half of netizens use 3 or more devices to go online

Asians are now ‘post-mobile’, start-up says

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 April, 2016, 9:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 April, 2016, 4:01pm

Advertisers should adjust their mobile-first approach in Asia to reach potential customers across all devices, according to a report which found that almost half of internet users in Asia use three or more devices to go online.

The report by Taiwanese start-up Appier, a company that uses artificial intelligence to help advertisers better target their campaigns, found 25 per cent of multi-device users in Hong Kong use three devices or more and 24 per cent use four or more devices to access the internet.

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Caroline Hsu, chief marketing officer for Appier, said the report outlined the importance of not forgetting PC and tablet users, as people now jump between devices during the day.

“Asians are not just mobile-only, they’re post-mobile,” Hsu said.

“Instead of a one-way shift from PC to mobile, our data shows people are using all of their screens in complex and interconnected ways.”

The report, based on 850 billion data points from Appier-run campaigns across the region collected in the second half of 2015, found that users interact with adverts on different devices in various ways, meaning advertisers should tweak their methods for PC, smartphone and tablet.

Appier’s report recommends advertisers and marketers use a cross-screen approach that involves tailoring advertising content to the specific device, such as offering coupons to mobile users.

The report found that cross-screen campaigns outperformed multi-device campaigns by 26 per cent in terms of conversions and exceeded all types of single-screen campaigns.

Cross-screen advertising is a growing trend among advertisers.

Last year, US telco giant AT&T announced it would allow advertisers to buy advertising that links the television in a household with other devices to target users across multiple screens.

Hsu said brands must remain flexible as user trends continue to change and more devices enter the market.

“Consumer behaviour across screens and across markets is complex and it’s getting increasingly difficult to predict,” she said.

“This trend will continue as more devices like wearables… proliferate across Asia.”

Appier found device usage also varied depending on the country, time of day or week, and gender.

In Hong Kong, smartphone usage climbs between noon and 2pm, while 11pm is the peak period for all devices, the report found.

Monday is the peak time for smartphone users in Singapore and PC users in Hong Kong.

The start-up found that PC usage is 3 per cent higher among men than women, a trend that peaks on Saturdays. In contrast, most women rely more on PCs on Thursdays.

Hsu said the start-up’s use of AI allows it to build a picture of user patterns that enables advertisers to track users as they switch between their devices.