Commentary

Nearly Half Of Brands, Agencies Still Don't Have A Mobile Strategy

It seems shocking, but 48% of companies and 46% of agencies participating in a study from Econsultancy, in partnership with Adobe Marketing Cloud released Friday, still don't have a mobile advertising and marketing strategy. Some 32% of companies and 43% of agencies say they have a strategy, but it's not well defined. 

About 60% of companies that don't have a mobile strategy don't know the percentage of Web site traffic that comes to their Web site via a mobile device, compared with 78% that do have a defined mobile strategy.

Some 61% of companies that don’t have a mobile strategy don't know the types of devices customers use, compared with 78% that do.

On average, 28% of ecommerce sales are transacted on mobile devices -- up from 21% in 2015 and 16% in 2014. And while the rate is likely to accelerate, consumers want easier, more intuitive systems, where search creates the means to easier find the product and quickly checkout.

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The report points to Starbucks’ Mobile Order & Pay platform that drives 5 million transactions monthly, that more than 20% of the company’s mobile transactions taking place this way.

On the flip side, companies without a defined mobile strategy are more likely to draw less than 10% of their ecommerce revenue from mobile channels, 34% vs. 20%.

Most companies and even more agencies realize they need a strategy. About 60% of companies and agencies in 2016 admit they will increase their investment, down from 62% in 2015, compared with decreasing at 2% and 3%, respectively.

The study, Digital Intelligence Briefing: Taking Advantage of the Mobile Opportunity, shows why brands must not adapt old ideas to the smaller screen and realize there's no room for error or waste.

Consumer tracking across devices gets pretty complicated for those that that don't have a mobile strategy. Only 34% that do not have a mobile strategy can track customers across different devices when they choose to authenticate and log in to the experience. And just 39% can provide relevant information to different segments of our users.

It gets worse. Only 27% of companies that do not have a mobile strategy can track the effectiveness of paid, owned or earned media in driving user acquisition for mobile apps across the various app stores. Only 28% can provide real time messaging and experiences across multiple devices, and 28% can track users across devices in real time.

It's clear from the data that most marketers make decisions about their mobile customers and approach without key pieces of information. Even the forward leaning 20% with a well-defined strategy lack some elements of mobile customer analysis, according to the research.

Still, , businesses participating in the survey that can track their digital traffic say, on average, 37% of their total digital traffic is not via mobile, up from 31% in 2015.

The proportion that say over half of their digital traffic is via mobile has increased by 56% since 2015, from 18% to 28%, according to the study.

Tablet use is heaviest in Europe, where it accounts for 35% of mobile traffic to Web sites, comparted with 25% in North America, and 30% in APAC. 

6 comments about "Nearly Half Of Brands, Agencies Still Don't Have A Mobile Strategy".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 1, 2016 at 3:20 p.m.

    I'm not sure I get why every company that advertises should have a mobile strategy: translation: that every company should be using mobile. That's the implication in the headline of this piece. As a matter of fact, a significant percentage of advertisers don't have a strategy for using radio, either, and magazines aren't far behind in this respect. In both cases one can cite stats about the medium's audience, demos, etc. but this may not be the reason for having a lack of strategy. Sure, ignorance is a factor and resfual to try alternatives is another, but it is just possible that not everyone needs radio, magazines or--gasp!--mobile.

  2. Edwin Acevedo from BKON replied, August 1, 2016 at 5:47 p.m.

    I find it quite surprising that only about half of brands have a mobile strategy. More than half of American adults (68%) own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center. In fact, smartphone ownership is nearing saturation for some groups, like those ages 18-29 (86%), ages 30-49 (83%) and those living in households earning more than $75,000 annually (87%). People are used to immediate access to information with their smartphones and turn to mobile devices in moments when they want to find, do or buy something. These moments, which Google calls “micro-moments,” can happen anywhere, at any time. Brands ready to engage with people in these micro-moments will be well positioned for the shift to mobile. It defies reason for brands to see the trend toward mobile and not have a plan to deal with it.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 1, 2016 at 6:59 p.m.

    Edwin, just because a media platform has a lot of users that, in and of itself, doesn't mean that most or all advertisers have to use it. Radio reaches 90% of the population weekly but garners only 5-6% of all national ad spending. Magazines reach 85%+ of all adults but are in deep trouble ad page-wise. Newspapers reach something like 65-70% of all adults in a week, but are in even bigger trouble where ad revenues are concerned. Also, it doesn't really matter how many people have smartphones or how much time they spend with them. What counts is the amount of use that smartphone videos get---which is a great deal less than the ongoing propaganda campaign would have you believe. Yet, videos are where many advertisers want to place their video ads. Until sufficient engaging video content is developed and the ability of mobile video ads to capture and hold the attention of viewers is determined, plus the burgeoning ad blocking problem is attended to, there is no need for every advertiser to rush pell mell into a mobile strategy. By all means investigate and, even, test the platform. If it serves as a useful compliment to your main ad campaign then by all means use it. If not, then don't.

  4. Edwin Acevedo from BKON replied, August 2, 2016 at 12:55 a.m.

    Ed: It’s not about the medium. It’s about the customer. Mobile offers things that legacy media cannot: immediacy, engagement and interaction. You cannot make song requests on your radio, and you cannot hear your song until after a brand pushes messages at you. By newspapers and magazines, surely your numbers must include the digital versions? Because Google and comScore both say more searches are done on mobile than on desktop, and you can’t keyword search a newspaper. All this being said, the original story (which was well done, as was Gavin O’Malley’s a couple of days ago) says many brands and agencies don’t have a mobile strategy. Also, since many don’t know what devices send traffic to their websites, they apparently don’t use Google Analytics, either. And that's plainly ridiculous. The vast majority of Americans between the ages of 18-49 has a mobile phone. It’s not about advertising or mobile video. People use mobile whenever they want to learn, do or buy something. Your customer could be in a shopping mall, standing in front of your product at Target, or in line at Panera. You as a brand want to be present during these micro-moments. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you won’t be. If your marketing does not consider mobile strategy, you won’t be. But your competition will.

  5. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 2, 2016 at 5:26 a.m.

    Edwin, you make some good points, however I do not believe that they apply to all advertisers---or most advertisers----just some advertisers. Direct response advertisers---sure. Many retail advertisers----probably. But not necessarily the majority of branding advertisers. Moreover there are serious issues with the availability of suitable video content on mobile---which is where branding advertisers want to be----regarding reach, ad exposure and impact. As I said, were I P&G or Campbells soup or Burger King, I would certainly look into the possibilities to see whether mobile can help my campaign, at what cost and instead of which of my current media buys. Then, if the results were both measurable and panned out, I'd develop a strategy for using mobile effectively. But this takes time and mobile should not assume that it's a lock for all---or most---advertisers. There are issues to overcome---serious ones.

  6. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, August 2, 2016 at 4:59 p.m.

    Agree with Ed's observations here. We also need to figure in that a great many consumers hate mobile ads far more than any others. When I was teaching I'd discuss mobile advertising with my students - they were shocked that marketers would even try it. I know that I am repulsed when someone takes up space on my phone. And if it's ever location based I'm fully offended. 

    What strikes me is that in the media world we confuse "consumers do this all the time" with "therefore it's a great time to communicate with them". In many, many, many cases that's wrong. Remember how filling station advertising on TV's was going to light the world on fire (but hopefully not the station)? Last ones I saw were running the dregs of DRTV. Yes. Consumers are standing there. But no. It's a very bad time and place to reach them with advertising.

    Seems that mobile has that same problem.

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