Businesses Doubling Down On Mobile Investment Despite Widespread Frustrations

Smartphone-Dollar-sign-ABusinesses are planning to invest more money in mobile platforms over the next 12 to 18 months than they have spent on these platforms to date. According to a survey of 1000 business professionals in the U.S. and U.K. -- the majority of them in sales and marketing -- by Antenna and research partner Vanson Bourne, enterprise-level U.S. companies will spend on average $1.4 million in the next 12 to 18 months on mobile initiatives, compared to an average investment of $587,000 they have already spent cumulatively on the platform so far.

For small- to-medium-size businesses surveyed, their previous investment was $405,000, but over the next year to 18 months it will escalate to $852,000.

This is not to say that mobile marketing has become de rigeur among businesses, or that they are all seeing the ROI they expect. The Mobile Business Forecast for Marketers 2012 also found that only one in five companies report that their mobile projects thus far have attracted a majority of the consumers they targeted. Indeed, 45% of the companies that used a third-party agency for their mobile projects were frustrated by the length of time it took to complete the projects, with 21% complaining that the end result was not easy enough to use, 11% that it was not “sleek” enough and about 10% finding the mobile execution did not align with their brand.

On average, however, small businesses are planning to spend about $431,000 on consumer-facing projects in the forecast period, whole larger enterprises are planning to spend $696,000 on mobile executions aimed at consumers.

Mobile Web sites continue to be a priority, with 45% of both U.S. and U.K. firms working on the mobile Web presence and 43% including apps on their to-do lists. Web apps are attracting 32% of those surveyed.

Depsite the aggressive build-out in mobile media, the report finds that the relatively low uptakes of these projects by the consumers demonstrates a lack of research and preparation on the part of the brands. “Too many businesses are initiating projects without doing the necessary research into what content their customers would like to engage with or into the format they’d like to receive,” the report argues.

The report also suggests that businesses are frustrated with the number of outside agencies needed to executive these projects as well as the lack of integration and coordination among them.

The full white paper is available online from Antenna.

Tags: mobile
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