Report Finds Mobile Benefited From Pandemic, Privacy Concerns Remain Chief Obstacle

Like most other digital media, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a boon to mobile marketing budgets, but some significant barriers to growth -- especially consumer privacy concerns -- remain. That's the finding of a new "State Of The Industry" report from the Mobile Marketing Association, done in conjunction with WARC.

The report, which is based on surveys of 575 marketing professionals in the EMEA, may not necessarily represent the sentiment of mobile marketers in other markets, but it should be a pretty good indicator about the opportunities for mobile marketing in the year ahead.

The top-line finding is that two out of three of the marketers boosted their mobile marketing budgets over the past year, at least partly due to the acceleration of ecommerce following the pandemic.

And while marketers appear to be more optimistic about almost every potential barrier to further mobile marketing budget growth, the biggest growing threat is consumers' concern over their personal data privacy, which increased 10 percentage points year-over-year compared with a similar survey conducted last year.

Not surprisingly, regulatory compliance with consumer data privacy rules was the next-biggest concern -- although there was no comparative base for that question in 2020.

After that, almost every other major concern has diminished among mobile marketers with the exception of -- ironically -- data costs, and their own organizational skills.

"As we emerge from the pandemic, with many workforces still working remotely and social and m-commerce technologies rapidly developing, mobile will play an important part in marketing strategies, as indicated by the acceleration of mobile ad budgets and the opportunities provided to advertisers," notes WARC Research and Rankings Managing Editor Amy Rodgers.
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