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16pc of marketers have a formal mobile strategy: study

Only 16 percent of marketers out of 250 global marketers surveyed have developed a mobile strategy aimed at building customer engagement, according to a new report from the Chief Marketing Officer Council.

The ?Engage at Every Stage? report looks at how brands view their mobile marketing initiatives. Brands represented in the results include marketers from Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, JP Morgan Chase and Unilever among other companies.

?There is a tremendous amount of learning from this study that late entrants to mobile can leverage,? said Donovan Neale-May, founder and executive director of the CMO Council, Palo Alto, CA.

?The mobile solution provider landscape is evolving and there is greater clarity as to which platforms to support and what approaches to be taken as regards mobilizing content, building applications and embracing new technologies and cloud-based services,? he said.

?Best practice approaches to embracing mobile should be studied and understood by those embarking on this journey for the first time. It is important for marketers to understand their customer audience's mobile behaviors and there are now quite a range of resource providers who can offer analytics and insights in this regard."

The study was sponsored by Pandora and FunMobility. It was fielded in cooperation with the Mobile Marketing Association.

Build on mobile
Forty-six percent of marketers surveyed in the CMO Council study said that they are either evaluating or reviewing the role of mobile in their organizations.

Thirty-two percent of respondents said that they are shifting their budgets to focus on app development or other channels of engagement. Forty percent of marketers said that they are honing in on making sure content and Web sites are optimized for mobile devices.

Only 14 percent of marketers surveyed said that they are satisfied with the way that their brands are accessing and leveraging mobile.

Forty-three percent of marketers in the study said that they are not satisfied with the progress that they are making in mobile. Thirty-seven percent of marketers said that they are still evaluating their mobile performance.

According to the study, 20 percent of marketers surveyed said that they see consumers relying on mobile devices more for business processes. Nineteen percent said that they have noticed a high rate of adoption by their customers.

Fifty-five percent of respondents cited the always-on nature of mobile as a particular benefit for targeting consumers.

When it comes to how to use mobile, approximately 50 percent saw messaging and communication as being important. Thirty-five percent saw social media interactions as a key application of mobile marketing. Using mobile for search and location optimization was expressed by 31 percent of respondents as being important.

As smartphone and tablet adoption continues to grow, personalization is key to connecting with consumers.

The study found that 49 percent of marketers believe that mobile is influential in providing personalized and relevant interactions ? which could include features such as product recommendations, for instance. Per the study, offering personalized mobile marketing gives a brand a competitive advantage.

Thirty-four percent of respondents see mobile as a way to increase the frequency of communication with consumers.

In addition to smartphones, tablets have also opened up the marketing opportunities available to brands. For instance, the study cites Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts as seeing 60 percent of check-ins being accomplished on a tablet.

Missed opportunity
Overall, the study?s findings point to marketers treating mobile as a standalone channel instead of being incorporated into an overall strategy.

Additionally, the lack of strong mobile budgets and resources are limiting some marketers.

For example, of the group of marketers that are not satisfied with their mobile initiatives, 47 percent said that they are not satisfied because of a lack of talent or resources to roll out mobile engagements.

The findings also point to mobile being used for more one-off campaigns versus being integrated into a brand?s overall marketing mix.

For instance, 37 percent of marketers surveyed have focused on mobile to advertise brands or push offers.

On the other hand, only 15 percent of marketers are using mobile to launch product consumption, 18 percent use the medium to enable transactions and 18 percent use it to either activate or acquire customers.

Similarly, 41 percent of marketers surveyed used mobile to repurpose content across multiple screens. Twenty-four percent of respondents said that they wanted to create mobile-specific content.

Another reason that marketers might be missing the mark with mobile is by using hard numbers such as app downloads and conversions as the primary way to gauge success.

For instance, 33 percent of marketers surveyed said that they would look at the number of app downloads to evaluate their mobile investment. Twenty-six percent would focus on mobile commerce or transaction numbers.

Thirty-eight percent of marketers would use either user feedback or the repeated consumption of content as the key metric for success. Thirteen percent of marketers would use brand distinction or differentiation as the key metric.

?Mobile spend should be an integral part and extension of all marketing and customer relationship investments including customer help, service and support, advertising and custom content delivery, Web site interactions, word of mouth and search optimization, loyalty and rewards program management, feedback and insight gathering, point-of-sale merchandising and shopper marketing as well as campaign performance measurement,? Mr. Neale-May said.

?There is no set percentage in our view as this should be embedded in all infrastructure, process and campaign spend,? he said. ?From a media-buying standpoint, mobile investments need to be tracked and evaluated based on value, response, impact, cost and conversion. More importantly, the mobile channel offers a powerful mechanism for serving customers with alerts, notifications, advisories, updates, bulletins and advisories that increase brand reliance and affinity.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York