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Marketers unaware of what makes a good mobile strategy: Forrester

Most companies have no clue how well they are doing at implementing a mobile strategy, according to research by Forrester Research.

Forrester recently surveyed more than 200 global firms on the topic. The main finding was that 57 percent of organizations either do not have or are in early-stage development of a mobile strategy.

?I think the main conclusion is two-fold,? said Thomas Husson, senior analyst at Forrester, Cambridge, MA. ?First is that the majority of companies are at the early stages, and second is that among those who report that have a strategy in place there are still a couple of key building blocks they are starting with.?

Mobile strategy
The Forrester study found that 10 percent of firms have had a fully operational mobile strategy for less than a year and a third have had a mobile strategy for more than a year.

Brands in media, travel and financial services are most likely to have a mature mobile strategy.

Respondents illustrate that mobile is seen as a way to increase customer engagement, satisfaction and loyalty. It is not seen as a means of generating direct revenues.

A whopping 52 percent of firms see increasing customer engagement as their No. 1 mobile goal.

Mobile personnel
Almost one-third of companies do not have a single executive in charge of defining their mobile consumer strategy, and 46 percent of survey respondents reported that one or fewer employees work full time for their company's mobile efforts globally.

Additionally, 70 percent of firms will increase their mobile budget in 2011, with one in four companies doubling or tripling it.

Some firms are making an effort to establish a collaborative and qualitative vision for mobile in the future.

However, the majority of them fail to quantify precise objectives, allocate costs and measure the overall success of their mobile business.

Mobile?s evolving fast
Many companies feel that it is too early to get into mobile. They say that they have to first fix their strategies for digital and social before they can put mobile into the mix.

But mobile is evolving so quickly that waiting does not make sense, according to Forrester.

For example, Facebook?s mobile global monthly audiences skyrocketed from 65 million users in September 2009 to 150 million users in July, per Forrester.

Sixteen percent of Twitter users now start with mobile, versus 5 percent in April. During the same time frame, the number of mobile Twitter users has increased by 62 percent.

Because of how things are evolving in the space, it will be very hard to plan a social media strategy without taking into account mobile, per Forrester. 

?Beyond mobile engagement marketers should work internally with all the stakeholders within the marketing team and IT people in making sure that there is a clear business case for mobile,? Mr. Husson said. ?First, it is key to define a mobile consumer presence.?

Final take
Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor of Mobile Marketer