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Walmart, others could sweeten ROI by reallocating budget to mobile: MMA

NEW YORK - Marketers would significantly increase their overall campaign return on investment without increasing budget by simply adjusting mobile spend upward, according to results from a Mobile Marketing Association study of campaigns by Coca-Cola?s Gold Peak tea, Walmart, Mastercard and AT&T unveiled at the 2015 Mobile Marketing Association Forum New York.

The optimal spend for mobile based on total campaign spend is in the double digits, far more than most marketers are allocating, according to the Smart Mobile Cross Marketing Effectiveness study co-conducted with Marketing Evolution and InsightExpress. The findings are revelatory for marketers who generally lack the resources to initiate a robust analysis on how mobile interacts with other media channels and how to optimize their budgets to take full advantage of mobile?s unique power.

?Mobile absolutely is a change agent in your organization,? said Rex Briggs, CEO of Marketing Evolution. ?We see this as a huge, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

?Great fortunes will be made by companies that figure out how to deliver mobile,? he said. ?The other part is the transformation of marketing in general. ?

Driving results
The findings show that mobile is a strong contributor of campaign performance, driving results across the entire purchase funnel. 

AT&T promotion.

From upper funnel metrics like awareness and image, to purchase intent and foot traffic or sales, the results suggest mobile has a fervent contribution to campaign results, in many cases performing twice as hard compared to the campaign average and justifying a double-digit allocation of the entire media mix (not just digital) to mobile. 

?Years ago there wasn?t an infrastructure for marketing organizations,? Mr. Briggs told the conference. ?The second thing is there wasn?t the infrastructure to do targeting at the level of detail and automation at the level that is possible with mobile.?

After evaluating the ROI of various marketing tactics, researchers observed that most marketers are under-investing in mobile. In fact based on the findings from SMoX, empirical evidence suggests that the optimal mix is currently in the double digits for most brands.

The five studies that were conducted in the United States covered a spectrum of industries and campaign objectives. 

In late 2013, AT&T launched a marketing campaign for its customizable brand of moto x smartphones. AT&T?s objective was to maximize the awareness of the new device and to better understand the role of mobile in that specific campaign. The campaign used TV, print, online & mobile. 

For AT&T, mobile delivered twice the awareness per dollar spend compared to TV and digital.

Last spring, Coca Cola?s Gold Peak Tea, a relatively new beverage brand, sought to build brand awareness and drive increased sales. The campaign used a mix of TV, print, online and mobile channels to drive messaging, and Gold Peak was interested in understanding the role of each in driving the campaign?s KPIs. 

Mobile delivered results across the board driving 25 percent of top of mind awareness, nine percent of image ?Home Brewed taste? conversions and six percent of sales with five percent of budget.

Last summer, Walmart prepared its annual Back to School campaign ? focused on driving intent to shop Walmart?s grocery category among mothers with school-age children. The cross-media plan called for a mix of TV, free standing inserts, online and mobile advertising. 

Rex Briggs at 2015 MMA Forum New York.

Mobile impacted more consumers per dollar spent than both broadcast and cable TV. Mobile drove 14 percent of change in overall shopping intent despite only seven percent of the spend. 

In last year?s fourth quarter, MasterCard launched its Travel campaign to increase association of the card with Travel and to drive awareness of the Concierge app. The campaign also had a tertiary goal to promote the ?Take one day? pledge and inspire people to take more vacation. 

MasterCard used a comprehensive mix of media including TV, magazines, newspapers, digital and online including social media. Mobile was the second strongest driver of image after TV.

Reallocating to mobile would drive incremental impact for each campaign, making their existing budget work harder, according to the study.

For AT&T this would mean 12 percent higher awareness for the moto x; for Walmart, a potential 15 percent increase in purchase intent for Back-to-School groceries.

For MasterCard a mobile reallocation would reinforce its image of being good to carry when traveling by seven percent. For Coca-Cola, it would drive four percent incremental sales for Gold Peak tea.

Integrating data
A challenge marketers need to overcome is integrating with data from other sources. It requires new structures that bring down silos between marketing and tech, according to the study. 

MasterCard campaign.

?The time is absolutely right now,? Mr. Briggs said. ?What we?ve seen time and again is a window of opportunity of maybe a couple of years, where people that have moved first and fastest, they are smart about re-targeting they are learning about [best] practice and they lead the competition.?

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York