A new survey of more than 800 business executives indicates many are increasing mobile marketing budgets this year but face challenges, including a lack of resources to expand mobile efforts. The study by email services provider StrongMail showed 45% of companies have adopted mobile marketing, with more than half (57%) of those doing so for less than a year.
More than 70% of managers expect their mobile budgets to increase in the next 12 months, while 55% have already done so in the last year. More than half believe a mobile program could help increase sales and gain new customers, as well as boost brand awareness.
Mobile Web sites (70%), mobile applications (55%) and QR codes (49%) rated as the most popular types of mobile marketing, but less than half of marketers are currently employing any of them. Three quarters of businesses not using mobile marketing programs plan to within a year or more.
When it comes to email, the survey conducted in April found 43% of companies have some level of integration between email and mobile marketing efforts. But just over a quarter (27%) are running cross-channel advertising campaigns that include mobile messaging. Likewise, only 29% have used mobile response data to optimize offers in email or other platforms.
The results also suggested mobile still only claims a small portion of marketing budgets, with more than half (54%) of businesses allocating 5% or less to the third screen. That roughly corresponds to the 5% of total U.S. online ad dollars ($1.6 billion) mobile represented in 2011, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Nearly a quarter of companies, however, said they devoted less than 1% to mobile marketing programs.
What’s holding back higher spending?
When asked to identify the top obstacle to launching a mobile program, 37% of businesses cited lack of strategy, followed by a lack of resources, at 22%. The StrongMail study did not identify companies taking part in the survey.