While social media was the top area for expanding budgets in 2015, according to 5,000 marketers polled in Salesforce’s 2015 State of Marketing report, mobile took up the rear. Seventy percent of marketers said they would be expanding spend for social media marketing and advertising, and 67% would further support social media engagement. But 67% also said they were bullish on location-based mobile tracking, with 66% increasing spend in mobile apps.
While only 58% of those surveyed said they actually had a dedicated mobile marketing team, at the same time a surprising 71% claimed mobile marketing is core to their business. While 68% say they have integrated mobile marketing into their overall strategy, still 43% still say mobile or app traffic is the most important mobile marketing metric.
Really? That makes me wonder what stands for mobile marketing sophistication at many companies. In fact I would take as somewhat naïve the additional finding that 57% of marketers think mobile apps are most critical to creative a cohesive customer journey. Really? In all business segments? If this belief had any remote base in the reality of mobile use, imagine how many apps consumers would have to carry around with them?
From marketers’ responses, it seems that everything looks equally promising to them. When asked to rate the effectiveness of the many digital channels open to them, everything from branded web sites to podcasting, text messaging to blogging fell into a similar range of acceptance, with 58% to 68% finding them very effective/effective. Still, only 27% say they are actually using mobile apps, 24% using text messaging, 19% using mobile push, and 18% using location-based mobile tracking.
Only 9% say mobile produces significant ROI, while 22% say it produces some ROI, and 33% are hopeful that mobile will show ROI. Everyone seems very high on the effectiveness of mobile campaigns, with well over 80% of marketers claiming everything from SMS to mobile-exclusive deals to cross-channel engagement are effective. Apparently there aren’t many tactics these guys don’t like. Still, only about a third say they are using these various mobile tactics, and about that many claim they are planning to in the next 12 months.
I never know exactly what to make of these surveys of marketer intentions. The high degree of reliance on mobile apps suggested by the survey is belied by both the actual number who have apps and the lessons of the last five years. Consumers don’t want apps from every company, and there are only certain business segments where apps from a brand actually do assist the path to purchase.