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More Hold-Outs Plan to Begin Mobile Marketing

Three-quarters of marketers without a mobile strategy have plans to develop one

June 25, 2012

Worldwide, growth in the adoption of mobile devices is set to continue apace for the foreseeable future. So it makes sense, then, that marketers would be moving quickly to adapt to this new channel. But an April 2012 survey of business leaders worldwide by email marketing services provider Strongmail found that 55% of respondents were not currently using mobile as a marketing channel.

Despite this, those currently without mobile campaigns seem to see the writing on the wall—43% of them planned to integrate mobile into their campaigns within the next year. Another 32% said they planned to develop mobile campaigns in a year or more, while only 25% said they had no plans for a mobile campaign at all.

Current and Planned Use of Mobile as a Marketing Channel According to Business Executives Worldwide, April 2012 (% of respondents)

Among those executives already in mobile marketing, optimizing websites for mobile devices held the top spot as the most frequently used mobile marketing technique, cited by 70% of respondents. In second place were mobile apps, used by 55% of these marketers. Interestingly, 49% said they used QR Codes, despite some unfamiliarity among consumers with what the codes are and how they are used. The advantages of these 2-D barcodes, which allow marketers to leverage the visual engagement of print ads and lead their audience to mobile channels, seem to outweigh any consumer confusion.

Types of Mobile Marketing Currently in Use According to Business Executives Worldwide, April 2012 (% of respondents)

In spite of all of this activity, mobile marketing remains a small portion of overall marketing budgets. Almost one-quarter of respondents said mobile budgets comprised less than 1% of their overall budget, while one-fifth said it accounted for 2% to 3% of total money spent. A paltry 6% of respondents said mobile made up 11% or more of marketing spending.

Percent of Interactive Budget Allocated to Mobile Marketing According to Business Executives Worldwide, April 2012 (% of respondents)

While mobile marketing budgets are relatively small, more dollars will be allocated there in the coming years. The survey found that 55% of respondents had increased their mobile budget over the past year, and 70% planned to increase it in the coming year. Only 1% of respondents said they planned to decrease their mobile ad budget over the next 12 months. eMarketer expects mobile ad spending in the US alone to reach $2.6 billion this year, including spending on display, search and messaging-based formats.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Multichannel Is a Must for Beauty and Personal Care” and “Smartphones Help Spur Mobile Content Use in Japan.”

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