IBM: Mobile, Social Pose Biggest Hurdles For Marketers

IBM StoryMore than a third (34%) of companies say they plan to launch mobile ad campaigns within the next 12 months, according to IBM “State of Marketing 2012” report released Thursday. That marks the highest planned adoption rate for a new marketing tactic in the five-year history of the annual survey of 350 marketing professionals globally.

That must mean the fabled Year of Mobile still lies ahead.

Currently, only a quarter of brands are running mobile ads, and about the same proportion (27%) say they have no plans to do so. To date, companies have focused more on building out their presence on the mobile Web and in apps. Nearly half (46%) have created mobile versions of their sites and 45% have created apps, with about another third planning to do the same in each case in the next year.

While expanding mobile initiatives, however, marketers say keeping up with the proliferation of new mobile and social media platforms is the biggest challenge they face in the next three to five years. Indeed, the study emphasized throughout that brands are still struggling to fuse these emerging channels into broader marketing goals. For example, only about a fifth currently use mobile or social tactics as part of integrated campaigns.

Social media is further ahead when it comes to monetization, with 45% running social ads currently, and 23% planning to do so in the next 12 months. Two-thirds of companies have pages on social networking sites, and 16% will add pages in the next year.

Despite the touted targeting capabilities on sites like Facebook, 51% of marketers aren’t using social data to tailor offers and advertising to users.

The report also indicated companies aren’t doing enough to exploit their own user data. Only a third are using traffic data on their own sites to target one-to-one offers or messages in digital platforms and less than 20% are using that information to target promotions in traditional channels.

That again points to the lack of cross-media integration. While 71% of those surveyed say integration across owned, earned and paid channels is important, only 29% are effectively melding these different approaches. Almost 60% say the lack of IT and marketing coordination are barriers to integration along with a lack of budget (57%).

“This void further reinforces the notion that CMOs and CIOs must forge stronger, more aligned relationships that put the business in a position to succeed,” stated the IBM report. It found that 51% of marketing executives who identified their companies as “high-performing” said there were good relationships between marketing and IT -- 10% higher than other companies

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