The use of mobile devices for everything from internet browsing and checking email to bank transactions and e-commerce has been on the rise for nearly eight years. Marketers’ knowledge and understanding of mobile marketing strategy has been much slower to catch up, however. There’s a growing gap between our audience’s demand for mobile-friendly websites and marketing, and the supply we’re giving them. This is partly due to the rapidly growing mobile market and partly due to our lack of knowledge and testing.
Growth of Mobile Marketing
In response to the growth of mobile internet users, 71% of marketers expect their mobile marketing strategy budgets to increase as much as 30% this year, compared to 2012. This is regardless of the fact that only 14% of these companies could prove an increase in ROI. An alarming 56% believe “mobile marketing will eventually produce ROI,” with little to no data to back it up.
Mobile marketing is expected to be a significant part of future success, with 93% of marketers saying their mobile marketing strategy will be important to their organizations’ growth over the next three years. In the next six months, even, 64% say they plan to develop a mobile website, and 53% say they will build at least one mobile landing page.
Just as important, if not more so, is the speed in which mobile web pages load. Of the many tactics used to improve the relevance and engagement of mobile content, 55% of mobile marketers felt it was important to design simple mobile pages to load fast.
Challenges of Mobile Marketing
Marketers have multiple barriers when implementing a mobile marketing strategy, including insufficient budget, inability to measure user behavior and ROI, difficulty merging mobile data with other systems (e.g. CRM), and lack of executive support. The top challenges, however, are lack of an effective mobile marketing strategy and inadequate staffing resources. 55% of mobile marketers have both of these obstacles.
Another huge obstacle mobile marketers face is testing. Less than 20% do any kind of mobile testing on a routine basis. Nearly 50% don’t test on any routine schedule, if at all. Types of important testing include benchmark reports, segmenting, and tracking the impact of mobile marketing on the sales funnel. When testing, it’s also crucial to define the research question, main objective, key metric, and testing methodology.
The most-collected data on mobile usage include
- Devices (e.g. smartphone, iPad), 67%
- Operating system (e.g. Apple iOS), 51%
- Social media usage and traffic referrals (e.g. Facebook Insights), 50%
Marketers can get some insight into customers’ mobile preferences using these metrics, but their behaviors and usage are also important to track. Some ways to track and learn more about your audience’s mobile usage include
- Geographic location
- Time-of-day usage patterns
- App/functional behaviors
- Carrier (e.g. Verizon, AT&T)
- Income or gender
As mobile internet usage continues to rise, so does the need to provide valuable, relevant marketing on that platform. If your organization lacks the resources or expertise to develop an effective mobile marketing strategy, there are companies and agencies available to help you get started or do it for you. The important part is to simply get started.