CMO Council: Few Marketers Master Mobile


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.



1 comment about "CMO Council: Few Marketers Master Mobile".
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  1. Rich Ullman from Outbrain, Inc., October 10, 2012 at 11:14 a.m.

    Without doing the detailed research to quantify it, I'll project these two studies are in parallel with what we saw for
    The Web... sometime in the late 90's
    Blogs... about 2004, maybe
    Social media... in 2008 or thereabouts.

    I say this as it relates to levels of skepticism, lack of strategy development, and "starved for funding," all of which feed off one another. There are so many different options right now and they are all changing quickly.

    The select few who are "mastering" anything at this point are likely taking a small bite... innovating on something... a learning what to do with the next bite. This is what happened with each of the above.

    I also think the Four Seasons iPad example is great. Super service and convenience. Unfortunately, it is another example of how technology is destroying jobs in the services sector, which is something our society needs to find a way to solve. (Separate issue, of course).

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