Mobile Marketing: 3 Reports Show Why It Matters

You won't find much disagreement among today's franchise CMOs and marketing executives with the statement, "Mobile marketing matters." However, as with any emerging technology, it's not as simple to agree on ways to use marketing to connect with customers effectively. Three studies on the subject shed some light on how to translate opportunity into practicality - increased sales and customer loyalty - and to measure its ROI.

1) Why Mobile Marketing Matters

The first, titled "The Reason Why Mobile Marketing Matters," is from Coremetrics, an IBM company that provides web analytics and marketing optimization. The report is a general, high-level overview of mobile marketing that includes plenty of figures and charts. Here are some highlights:

  • Metrics: "The emergence of mobile as a marketing channel has been accompanied by confusion and skepticism about its viability. As Forrester Research observed about the mobile space, 'espite increasing activity and more strategic spending, inconsistent data and analytics will plague mobile marketers hoping to make a business case for testing emerging opportunities."
  • Spend: "Whether it's a $10 million budget or a $10,000 budget, having a mobile presence is a must to ensure that every opportunity is taken to engage with customers. While apps for smartphones are the latest craze, the deluge of apps into app stores has made it a crowded space. Unless an app is functional, practical, and engaging, it will get lost in the sea of others that have entered the marketplace."
  • mROI: "Mobile return on investment (mROI) has been an elusive objective among marketers. In most organizations, mobile has been sequestered into its own department separate from online marketing and infused with significant investment without any insight into the performance of mobile marketing efforts. In fact, mobile marketing data analysis should not vary much from the same key performance indicators and analytics used to track performance of online marketing efforts."
  • Advice: "Mobile is becoming more and more pervasive as a marketing channel by which to reach and attract customers. Without a strategic approach to evaluate the opportunities before you, execute mobile campaigns, and, ultimately, measure and optimize the performance of those efforts, marketers will continue to be frustrated by this channel. Ensure that when you work within the mobile realm, you align your efforts with your online marketing campaigns and that your web analytics provider enables you to have a comprehensive view of your performance across both mobile and online sites."

Find more at or call them at 866-493-2673.

Two from Forrester Research

The next two reports are from Forrester Research, a research firm that provides advice about business and technology. For additional information, including other reports and white papers, go to or call 617-613-6000.

2) Mobile Marketing Advice for CMOs

This 8-page report, published last October, provides a look at what CMOs can do to develop a successful mobile marketing strategy and execute it. The report is titled "Mobile Adds New Appeal To Your Brand Experience: The CMO Must Orchestrate Mobile Tightly into Brand Experience from the Start." Here are some highlights:

From the Executive Summary: "Mobile is finally getting air time with the most innovative brands and marketers.... But for all of that movement, few chief marketing officers (CMOs) are involved in defining what mobile means to their brands. CMOs must join the march and use mobile as an opportunity to raise the bar on the overall brand experience by adopting three key characteristics of life on the go: immediacy, intimacy, and context."

A cautionary note: "hile mobile tactics may chalk up points for innovation due to the novelty factor, they often don't contribute much more than that to the brand. Indeed, Forrester sees most mobile initiatives as scattershot in approach with low expectations to match."

Also, it will take some time for mobile to take hold in a widespread way, despite its rapid adoption: "Mobile will not mature as a marketing option until it is more firmly integrated into the overall brand strategy" for three main reasons:

  1. Technology leads marketing by the nose.
  2. Mobile does not gain attention, nor investment, from marketing leaders.
  3. Consumers have not yet accepted brands' mobile raison d'être."

Recommendation: "All brands and marketers should be going both for the quantity of consumers a brand will ultimately be able to connect with and for the quality of consumer relationships mobile enables."

Last, three basic do's and don'ts for CMOs (more details in the full report):

  1. Do your own mobile deep dive.
  2. Do tear up your company's mobile strategy if it has one.
  3. Don't forget to include your product strategist in the mobile mashup.

3) 2011 Mobile Marketing Predictions

Predictions are always perilous (at least for the person making them). In January, Forrester published a 6-page report titled, "2011 US Mobile Marketing Predictions." It's only August, but let's see what they had to say. First, some excerpts from the Executive Summary:

  • "After a record year for mobile marketing spend and success, mobile has finally arrived as a legitimate marketing medium."
  • "In 2011, Forrester predicts that marketers will take the wheels off mobile programs and start investing in cohesive mobile marketing strategies."
  • "Designated interactive marketers will become the first set of true mobile marketers, creating specific mobile search and display media buying plans, while scrutinizing one-offs like campaign-based apps will for providing additive business value."
  • "Location-aware services will remain in testing as the market continues to innovate and marketers find value propositions that drive more consumer adoption."
  • "Despite increasing activity and more strategic spending, inconsistent data and analytics will plague mobile marketers hoping to make a business case for testing emerging opportunities."

2010: Mobile marketing sees a surge of interest

"More than one-third (34%) of interactive marketers are currently implementing or are planning to implement a mobile program. Mobile marketers are building on the successes they have seen and experienced from 2010. Mobile is poised for major investment in 2011 because:

  1. Case studies expose a healthy marketing channel.
  2. Innovations have gained traction.
  3. Consumer mobile usage is skyrocketing.

2011: Mobile marketing gains a strategic position in the marketing mix

The report also takes a look at trends, where they are going, and explains what they mean for business. Some excerpts:

  • "Marketers will become app-athetic. The success metric for apps in 2011 will not be number of downloads but number of active users. Though the rate of new, purely campaign-based apps will continue to grow, smart marketers will realize the minimal value they provide customers, the infrequent repeat use, and the high cost to produce and market them. In order to develop better mobile experiences, marketers need to deliver on the unique value of mobile: immediacy, context, and simplicity."
  • "Mobile web search and display get the most resources. You'll perform best if you consider how your customers use mobile devices before you allocate your mobile dollars. On average, consumers use the mobile web and apps equally, but they only use a limited number of apps such as for gaming, weather, and For marketers who want to draw a larger swath of users, mobile web search and display are valuable to consider."
  • "Mobile marketing will emerge from interactive marketing. Establish formal or informal knowledge groups to kick-start necessary cross-functional communication. To do this, identify and connect the mobile resources throughout your organization. This will allow for faster knowledge transfers and establishment of best practices."
  • "Email marketers will become mobile converts. More than one-third of U.S. online adults who own cell phones (36%) already use them to send or receive email. Email marketers must adapt by implementing standards like providing a mobile-friendly preview format that's accessible with one click. As new inboxes develop, look to your email service providers and SMS vendors to create new formats that function across PC, tablet, and mobile devices."
  • "Lack of mobile standards restrains growth in analytics and distribution. You will have to be creative with data to prove the value of your mobile program and secure future investment. Keep your analytics simple in 2011. Use one channel, one strategy, and as few ad networks as possible at a time. Doing this will help you learn the technical limitations of each tactic as well as how to best translate limited data into meaningful insights."
  • "Marketers will continue to look for the magic location-based service. Location-aware services are one of the biggest promises mobile can and will deliver to marketers. But they are also prone to backlash as the privacy debate remains top of mind among legislatures, the FTC, and the entire digital marketing community. To avoid missteps, focus on services that offer a true value-add to customers, test small, fail early, and lean toward services that are opt-in. It's one thing to run a bad campaign; it's another to lose the trust of your customers."

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