Do You Have A Mobile Strategy?

If mobile has become more than an afterthought for companies, it's still far from being a key part of their marketing or e-commerce efforts. A new survey of more than 200 global companies by Forrester finds that more than half (57%) don't have a mobile consumer strategy or are in the early stages of developing one.

Only one-third have had a mobile strategy in place for more than a year, and 10% for less than a year. Perhaps the lack of urgency is because mobile is seen less as a way to boost revenue and acquire customers than a way to increase consumer engagement, satisfaction and loyalty -- a value-add.

Only 2% of those surveyed expect to generate more than $10 million in mobile revenue in 2010, and nearly a quarter -- 23% -- say they're still in the "test and learn" phase.

As a result, resources committed to mobile are limited. Nearly half (46%) of companies surveyed had one or fewer employees working full time on mobile initiatives globally. Only 3% have a dedicated mobile business unit. And while a quarter said top management was responsible for mobile strategy, Forrester analyst Thomas Husson suggested they needed to be more involved to make sure mobile is properly funded.

Among other findings from the report, entitled "How Mature is Your Mobile Strategy," media, travel, and financial services brands are the most likely to have the most advanced mobile strategy.

"Brands that primarily view mobile as a new media or marketing channel have given responsibility to interactive marketers," noted Husson in a blog post Tuesday. "In fact, mobile is more than just an extension of the Internet; it offers the unique ability to connect with consumers anytime and anywhere."

He argued that companies are too siloed in their approach to mobile and not moving fast enough to keep up with the growth of mobile audiences for the likes of Facebook and Twitter. While acknowledging mobile is still an emerging platform, "I was surprised to see the lack of integration of mobile into companies' broader corporate strategies," wrote Husson.

Despite the rudimentary state of mobile strategy, 70% of firms plan to increase their mobile budget in 2011, with one in four companies doubling or tripling their mobile outlay. A separate report released Monday by eMarketer predicted U.S. mobile ad spending will grow nearly 80% this year to $743 million, and hit $1 billion in 2011. The study points to expanding use of smartphones as the chief catalyst for higher mobile spending.

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5 comments about "Do You Have A Mobile Strategy? ".
  1. Alex Romanov from isign media corp , October 19, 2010 at 2:43 p.m.

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  2. Shane Lennon , October 19, 2010 at 7:32 p.m.

    Stunning results - with people migrating from other mediums to smartphones, which is the fastest growing consumer device of all time, and usage will surpass PC penetration very soon, would companies not want to be where their customers are?

  3. Tim V. from Initiative , October 19, 2010 at 8:56 p.m.

    Interesting findings. What would be some tactics/strategies/next steps for a media company, or any individual employee for that matter, to become more knowledgeable about mobile, and comfortable enough to integrate it within a media plan?

  4. Edward Hunter from Loop Analytics , October 20, 2010 at 10:34 a.m.

    Mark, great article, it aligns very closely to what we are hearing from brands we approach on mobile strategy & insights. The pie chart of companies who have one person working on mobile (13%) is interesting - to me what was really telling is the 9% who don't even know. This might underscore one possible reason for the slow movement within global companies; with a fast moving target like mobile it's difficult to know what hands internally are doing what.

    Tim, we usually recommend that a solid first tactic is consulting with a strategic mobile firm who is comfortable and competent across mobile, research, and of course the agency and brand space.

    The reason here is pretty simple - mobile has so much going on in so many directions, to learn each and every one would require time and investment to an extent that by the time enough of an understanding was garnered from the effort - the space will have changed - again.

    Our approach, for instance, when working with global brands & agencies isn't to bring the novelty and popularity of mobile to them - but rather to find out how mobile compliments the brand, addresses challenges or perhaps opens up new opportunities. In other words, make mobile applicable to the brand - not the brand applicable to mobile.

    Edward Hunter, CIO
    Loop Analytics & MSWLoop

  5. Juliette Cowall from Godwin Plumbing & Hardware , October 21, 2010 at 9:43 a.m.

    I'll echo Tim V. of Initiative.