Marketers are showing strong interest in adopting a wide range of stand-alone and integrated mobile marketing programs this year, a new survey shows. Though businesses have a clear understanding of the benefits of mobile marketing, a lack of resources and strategy are holding many businesses from embracing the mobile space more aggressively.
Mobile websites (70 percent), mobile applications (55 percent) and QR codes (49 percent) are the most popular forms of mobile marketing, but less than half of marketers are currently running any of them, according to a survey of more than 800 business leaders conducted by StrongMail, a provider of email, mobile and social media engagement products and services.
Of those who are, 57 percent have only been running them for a year or less. But 75 percent of businesses not currently running programs plan to do so within a year or more – and of those businesses that are, 70 percent expect to see their budgets increase over the same time period.
The survey results also highlight a real opportunity for marketers to embrace and integrate mobile with email and other digital channels to properly engage customers at various stages of the customer life cycle.
Despite lacking a clearly defined strategy for how to enter the mobile space, respondents were clear about the expected benefits. More than 50 percent of respondents believed that a mobile program could help them increase sales and acquire new customers, while almost as many respondents said a strong mobile program would increase brand awareness.
When asked to identify the top obstacle to launching a mobile program, 37 percent of businesses cited lack of strategy, followed by lack of resources at 22 percent. Mobile marketing budgets also remain a small fraction of overall interactive budgets, with 54 percent of businesses allocating 5 percent or less to mobile programs. Nearly a quarter of businesses reported less than 1 percent allocated to mobile. On the positive side, 55 percent reported increased budgets over the past year.
"With smartphones now accounting for nearly half of all devices in use by mobile users, it is more imperative than ever for digital marketers to adopt and integrate mobile marketing tactics into email and their overall marketing mix," said Kara Trivunovic, StrongMail's vice president of agency services. "Email marketers who are serious about garnering and maintaining consumer attention in this new era of mobile need more than just a solid strategy; they also need the right tools and resources to execute."