Marketers Flocking to Mobile, But Challenges Persist

June 21, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Data-driven | Digital | Email | Local & Directories / Small Biz | Mobile Phone | Telecom

ibm-mobile-marketing-adoption-june2012.pngAlmost 9 in 10 global marketers either have a mobile site or a mobile application or plan to employ one in the future, according to an IBM study released in June 2012. Yet, only 1 in 5 currently run mobile marketing tactics as part of integrated campaigns, with the remainder running their mobile programs discretely and on an ad hoc basis.
The most popular mobile tactics currently employed are mobile sites (46%) and apps (45%), with mobile versions of email (35%), mobile messaging campaigns (32%), location-based targeting (27%) and mobile ads (25%) yet to move into the mainstream. Even so, when factoring in future plans, at least two-thirds of the respondents will be using each of the tactics at some point in the future.

Mobile-Centered Campaigns on the Rise

Separate data from a Chief Marketer survey also released in June takes a different approach to the issue of mobile integration, arguing that mobile marketing campaigns are moving away from being an integrated “helper” tactic assisting other campaigns, and into a self-contained, strategic campaign channel. Indeed, while just 3 in 10 survey respondents said they ran campaigns primarily or solely aimed at mobile users last year, 51% plan to do so this year, while a further 26% are undecided.

Budgets Hinder Mobile Optimization

The Chief Marketer survey also found that close to half of the respondents either have optimized their main website for viewing over mobile browsers (31%) or run a separate mobile-specific website (17%). For those who have not optimized their sites, a plurality (36%) cite a lack of budgets as the reason, with 26% also saying that mobile users are not their primary target or that there is no-one in their organization to take charge of this activity.

Respondents also appear to be missing opportunities to measure mobile email opens, which are reportedly on the rise. Just 36% are monitoring their email campaigns to see how many recipients are opening emails on mobile phones. Those marketers understand the importance of optimizing their emails for mobile browsers, with 72% doing so.

QR Code Adoption Growing Quickly

The Chief Marketer survey questioned respondents about their adoption of a variety of mobile marketing tactics in the previous year, some of which were different to those identified in the IBM survey. Some interesting trends emerged from the results: adoption of scannable codes, tags, and QR increased by 28%, from 53% in 2010 to 68% in 2011. At the same time, the proportion using SMS messaging declined from 59% to 50% over the same period. This despite recent research indicating that text promotions drive 1 in 4 to purchase.

Other Findings:

  • According to the Chief Marketer report, marketers who use SMS messaging identify its immediacy (63%), high open rates compared to email (45%), and low cost compared to other channels (45%) as its primary benefits.
  • Only 35% of respondents used mobile display ads in 2011, relatively unchanged from 2010 (34%). Data from an Ipsos study released in June 2012 indicates that 41% of consumers globally have read an ad on their mobile phone, rising to 45% of those under 35. However, within the US, just 23% report doing so.

About the Data: The IBM data is based on a survey of 362 marketing practitioners from a wide range of industries, geographies, and sizes. The Ipsos data points are based on a survey of 12,000 consumers from 24 countries.

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