Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

June 18, 2013

Mobile Marketing is a Tool, Not a Miracle

The big rule about integrating new technologies into marketing is this: have a strategy. There are so many new channels of advertising that have been made available through exciting new emergences in consumer and industrial technologies that it is easy to lose focus on exactly what they’re good for. From electronic signs to social media to mobile optimized advertising, these are all necessary considerations for businesses of all sizes, yet according to a recent survey by StrongMail Systems, mobile marketing is underperforming because of a lack of sophistication in the marketers that use it.

It’s the same story that you hear about businesses throwing money at a social networking department that ends up dividing resources equally between channels, regardless of whether or not one might be more lucrative than the others. StrongMail surveyed 745 business leaders from around the world and found out that even though there has been an increase in the overall use of mobile marketing strategies, there are some pretty big obstacles that marketers are going to need to overcome before it will start to pay for itself.

A slim majority of the surveyed, 56 percent have integrated mobile channels into their marketing strategies. Of those, 50 percent are new to the mobile marketing game, having only adopted it within the last 12 months. Perhaps it’s the young age of the channel that’s preventing it from being embraced more ubiquitously, but according to the survey, it comes down to two factors in the eyes of the business leaders: a lack of strategy and a lack of resources.

For those who do have mobile marketing on their radars, the most common way that the option is being leveraged is through website and email optimization. This is a great first step, of course, no one wants to have to fiddle with the zoom options on their smartphone in order to read a piece of advertising, so potential customers will at least have less of a reason to avoid reading an ad on their mobile device. The obstacle for the adopters comes down to an understanding of how mobile marketing can be used as a cross-channel marketing tool. It’s not just another screen to read on, a mobile device can be used to make purchases on the go, activate real live discounts with digital coupons, and engage in real time with patrons attending live events.

Those who haven’t adopted it best take a lesson from those who have and are struggling. Mobile marketing is becoming an industry standard and it’s because of the versatility of mobile commerce. The strategies exist and they hold exciting prospects for businesses and their clients, but mobile marketing, just like social networking and other new ad channels, is a complex and unique tool. Don’t expect a mobile website to change things for you all on its own. Be proactive, do your research and leverage those cross-channel opportunities or you’ll end up just wasting money on unfocused, unspecific marketing.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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