"Primetime" used to mean the most coveted spot in a television network's daily schedule that reaches the biggest audience possible, but with the emergence of new technologies such as smartphones and tablets, the concept of primetime may have to be redefined soon, at least according to a telecom executive.
In his keynote address during the first-ever Philippine CMO Mobile Summit on Thursday, former Smart Communications top executive Noel Lorenzana claims "primetime" isn't just the 6 PM to 10 PM time slot anymore. Primetime is now anywhere, anytime, and for any person, especially with the prevalence of mobile devices.
Phone vs TV
According to studies, an average of two out of three people sleep with their mobile phones within reach, and at least 25 percent of people who own handsets use it on the dinner table. Lorenzana pointed out that in most instances, phones have become an extension of people's limbs, like an integral body part that couldn't be taken too far away from the body.
"Life is already becoming increasingly mobile," he said, especially since work and lifestyles have practically forced people to be always on the move.
A screen that's always within reach of wherever he goes will slowly beat television that's chained to the living room, according to Lorenzana, which is why the need for advertisers to focus their activities and budgets on mobile becomes ever more apparent.
Just imagine: Almost 100 million Filipinos today own a mobile phone, and at least a third of those handsets are smartphones, which opens the possibility for richer, more interactive content. Mobile phones also allow users to respond quickly to what they see on the screen, which means engagement with the consumer is higher than ever.
According to a recent survey of Philippine companies, only half of all firms invest on mobile marketing, despite the fact that 38 percent believe that mobile will be more important than print in two years, and more than half think it will become equally important as TV--the most pervasive medium today--in the same timeframe.
"Of all the ways to reach your consumers, mobile is the only one that can follow them anytime, wherever they go," said Lorenzana, who has recently been assigned to head the operations of broadcast network TV5. "Which is why you should make mobile the core of all your marketing campaigns."
The key is delivering the right offer at the right place, at the right time, and to the right audience. For example, a customer who walks into a clothing store may check in to the place via the geolocation app Foursquare, and companies who monitor such activities can quickly offer the customer a 10 percent discount just by checking in.
"Companies have to remember that they don't own the brand anymore—people do. Therefore, it's about time that big advertisers push engagement as a means of building their brands, otherwise the one-way model is not going to work anymore," Lorenzana said.
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