Companies Embracing Mobile Marketing, Survey Reveals

Mobile marketing campaigns are set to be utilised by increasing numbers of client-side marketers this year as strategists take advantage of the developments in mobile phone technology.

This is according to a survey from the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), with 88 per cent of respondents announcing their intention to implement a mobile marketing strategy during 2011.

The poll also revealed that three-quarters of marketers intend to boost their mobile marketing budgets by 59 per cent when compared with last year’s expenditure. During 2010, 62 per cent of marketers used mobile marketing for brand awareness; a figure that’s expected to increase by 26 per cent over the course of this year.

Bob Liodice, the ANA’s president and chief executive officer, said the survey suggests that mobile is a “fast-growing platform” in the marketing industry, although admitted that it was a long way from realising its full potential.

“With the anticipated increase in adoption this year, we expect to see fresh, innovative approaches, increased brand-building success, and better accountability for this exciting channel,” he commented.

The growing number of smartphones has given rise to iPhone advertising strategies, with marketers encouraged by the fact that the release of the iPhone 4 last year was Apple’s most successful product launch. The smartphone, which has become something of a status symbol, has proven to be a marketer’s dream thanks to its large screen and incorporation of email and social media.

Respondents to the MMA and the ANA’s poll revealed that marketers were somewhat cautious about devising their own campaigns this year, suggesting that strategies are largely still in their infancy. While multi-national companies such as Coca-Cola and Target were widely praised for their mobile marketing proficiency, just 25 per cent of marketers rated their own mobile campaigns as “extremely” or “very” successful. A small majority, 53 per cent, said their mobile marketing campaigns had generated only “somewhat” successful results.

According to the MMA, this is largely because the potential of mobile marketing is yet to be realised. The campaign managers claiming a higher success rate tend to have used mobile marketing for longer, have made use of mobile’s individual platforms and have measured their mobile efforts by using a number of different metrics.

Mobile marketing covers a number of different platforms. According to the MMA and the ANA, the five most popular are mobile websites, mobile apps, mobile messaging and SMS, mobile display adverts and mobile search.

Greg Stuart, the MMA’s global chief executive officer, said the results of the research indicate that the marketing industry will continue to see “increased adoption and spending this year across all marketing platforms”.

“The MMA is committed to further establishing critical best practices and guidelines that create efficiencies and eliminate barriers for marketers to make mobile an indispensable part of their marketing mix,” he commented.

In the poll, marketers were asked to identify what they considered to be mobile marketing’s advantages. The most significant were portable, on-the-go access to the Internet, being able to deliver content and promotions while away from a desktop or laptop computer and the ability to sanction immediate consumer support.

Disadvantages were cited too; notably, a lack of mobile marketing understanding, a limited ability to boost return on investment and a dearth of metrics that allow mobile marketing to be allocated adequately within a far-reaching marketing mix.

There’s little doubt that mobile marketing can help a company to boost brand awareness. While marketing strategies on mobile platforms remain at a relatively early stage of development, it’s clear that the industry is going from strength to strength; which is testified by the MMA and the ANA’s survey results.