MANILA, Philippines – Businesses should utilize the rapid spread of mobile technology in all aspects of their business, not just in marketing, as the Philippines is seen to become a “mobile-first country” by the end of 2014.
Being a “mobile-first country” means that mobile gadgets are going to become the primary way for people to access the Internet and search for information or products, Hans Roxas-Chua, Co-Chairman of the Mobile Festival 2013, said in an interview.
Narciso Reyes, Philippines country manager of Google, speaking during the convention said that the 300 percent growth in smartphone penetration annually will eventually make the Philippines a mobile first country by fourth quarter of 2014.
He pointed out that even though Filipinos still use desktop and laptop computers when searching for information, the smartphone is the “constant companion” that people use as an always-on means of connecting.
Roxas-Chua said that this has big implications for businesses. “All [their] digital assets have to be mobile ready,” he said.
“There are a lot of people on mobile, more companies now have to use it for the businesses,” he said. “Mobile is no longer just a fad but a necessary addition to business and marketing strategies.”
One automotive business, Roxas-Chua said, is already using mobile technology as a means to send reminders to clients when their car is due for an oil change or other maintenance services.
Logistics companies are also utilizing mobile technology by sending updates to customers regarding the delivery or pick up of their items or orders, he said.
“Mobile cannot just be marketing … [businesses] have to use mobile for all aspects,” Roxas-Chua said.
“If you’re not using mobile effectively for the other aspects of your business, sayang (missed opportunity),” he said.
Arthur Policarpio, Co-chairman of the Mobile Festival 2013, said that they are also aiming to “bridge the gap” between the large number of mobile phone users and the marketing, retailing, publishing, customer relationship management areas of businesses.
“Filipinos are known for being hyper-social — we Facebook status a lot of things, we do geo-mapping, we tweet and re-tweet information,” Policarpio said.
“Basically, we already have our foot in the door; it’s just a matter of educating today’s local businesses further and to change their mindset that we no longer need to be the ones to follow trends,” he said.