October 10, 2012 Michelle Garber

Mastering Mobile…or Not?

Nearly half (47%) of major brands are dissatisfied with the progress of their mobile marketing efforts because of a lack of resources and talent to develop and execute mobile engagements, according to a new study by the CMO Council.

The nonprofit organization’s survey of 250 global marketers released today found that another 37% are still evaluating the effectiveness of their mobile programs, and just 14% are happy with the results of their mobile marketing activities.

The finding jibes with a separate Forrester study last week that suggested mobile initiatives at a majority of companies in the U.S. are starved for funding. The CMO Council study, fielded with the Mobile Marketing Association and sponsored by Pandora and FUN Mobility, pointed to a lack of strategy as well as resources.

Only 16% of companies have a formal strategy for using mobile as a significant channel of customer engagement, 46% are reviewing the role of mobile, and 32% are allocating more budget to app development and other mobile projects. Another 40% are making sure desktop sites and content are mobile-optimized.

While interest is high, skepticism remains as many marketers perceive mobile falls short because of inflated claims, unmet expectations, and a lack of best practices.

The report, titled “Engage at Every Stage,” found that marketers are most interested in mobile as a marketing vehicle that is ubiquitous and always-on. The ability to target and create highly customized campaigns is seen as a key benefit. In addition to messaging, favored tactics in mobile include social media, service delivery, rich media, and search and location-based offerings.

“Given that marketers are looking to deepen relationships and improve service, it is surprising to see that mobile is not being widely activated as a service and support agent,” noted the study. Only 15% are using mobile to trigger consumption of a product or service, 18% are acquiring or reactivating customers, and 18% use mobile to enable transactions.

The companies surveyed also showed little confidence in mobile as a paid advertising medium. Only 29% are looking at mobile ad opportunities to reach customers through existing mobile content channels. That’s most likely because only 26% of marketers believe their current mobile investments have yielded inconsistent results.

Despite the skepticism and challenges, more than half (53%) of companies have or are developing a dedicated team assigned to mobile programs, and 51% are looking for ways to further mobile marketing capabilities via internal training and development.

The CMO Council also highlighted several high-profile mobile marketing initiatives from participating brands:

*More than 60% of guests checking into the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts now do so using an iPad, compared to none three years ago.

*Caesars Entertainment Total Rewards program allows members to view all aspects of their loyalty program on-demand through a mobile app.

*Consumers are using a mobile app to locate the nearest Coca-Cola Freestyle drink machine, find out what flavors are being dispensed, and provide feedback on the personalized drink they are consuming.

Other companies contributing to the study included Anheuser-Busch InBev, Beam Global, Caesars Entertainment, Eastman Kodak, JP Morgan Chase, NASCAR, SEGA of America, Sony Entertainment Television, Unilever, Virgin America, and Wyndham Hotel Group. Some 42% of businesses surveyed had more than $1 billion in annual sales.


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About the Author

Michelle Garber
Michelle Garber Michelle Garber (Flagstad) started out her career online doing .NET web development for the State of Missouri. After working on a variety of payment solutions and grants application development, she decided to move into the private sector. After a couple years of business analysis at DST, Inc. she started working freelance helping those in the financial services verticals with their landing pages and conversion rates. Since joining MarketizeIt as a partner, Michelle has worked on a variety of projects to help increase web quality, PPC conversion rates, web A/B testing, internal lead portal systems, SEO structuring, and a million other things to help the clients of MarketizeIt.

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