Smartphones and applications stores have revolutionised the software market. With apps stores, developers of software or games can share their work with everyone. The boom in apps design has given birth to another budding industry, namely, mobile marketing.
Keith Chow, chief operating officer of Hotmob, says the company is one of Hong Kong's first mobile marketing firms to help companies market their apps. "I see the mobile phone as a whole new media and a media that all brands are trying to develop. With so many apps available, there have got to be strategies and campaigns to market them," Chow says.
Mobile marketing is a job for people who embrace new technology and have a knowledge of website management. "[The] internet and new technology are the core of our business. The number one criterion for our employees is that they are keen followers of high-tech devices. Market sense is also important but very experienced marketers may not fit in if they are not high-tech people. We are a young and vibrant industry, so most of our staff are young," Chow adds.
Promotion of apps is done through text messages, by embedding download links of apps in the message. "This may sound simple but if you want to have a great campaign, there are certain things that you need to be aware of. The mobile phone screen is small, so you have to be creative and catchy to attract attention and raise a client's interest enough to download the app," he says.
Another core business for Chow is developing mobile phone versions of clients' websites. "The internet speed on a mobile is incomparable to that of a computer, so companies need to develop a mobile version [of their websites] for clients to browse on their mobiles," he says.
Chow sees a bright future for the industry because the demand for mobile marketing is accelerating. "[It] has become the new darling of the marketing industry," he says.
Another reason for Chow's optimism is the popularity of mobile phones in the city. "The penetration rate of mobile phones in Hong Kong is 197 per cent, meaning that almost everyone has two phones. The potential of mobile marketing is enormous," he says.