Friday, September 26, 2014

Should small businesses focus more marketing dollars on mobile marketing?

Responses from a number of recent surveys have revealed a strong preference from marketers for email marketing over and above other types of digital marketing tactics. This was again confirmed by a September survey done by Ascend2 and its research partners. In this survey marketers ranked email marketing as "Most Effective" (54%), while only 11% of marketers surveyed thought email marketing was "Most Difficult." It would naturally follow then, that most marketers would highly encourage their clients to pursue email marketing tactics over other types of digital marketing. Website and blog marketing and SEO marketing were also deemed "Most Effective" by 48% and 47% respectively. Social media marketing was ranked "Most Difficult" by 49% of respondents. Mobile/SMS marketing had the lowest overall ranking with only 9% of respondents rating it "Most Effective" and 34% "Most Difficult."

It would seem, at this time, that there will not be a big push for mobile marketing coming from most marketers. From their responses, they see it as not worth the effort.

But is it wise for businesses to overlook mobile marketing given how plugged in consumers -particularly those in the Millennial and Generation X generations - are? The fact is, people of all ages, not just that coveted demographic of 18-34, are daily becoming more dependent on their smartphones and their mobile devices to navigate numerous aspects of their lives. Around half of all internet searches are done on mobile phones. And the existence of smartphones and mobile connectivity is itself spawning new industries that people are seamlessly incorporating into their lifestyles. The popular and controversial sharing economy app Uber relies upon mobile technology to function. So does Pandora.

When forecasting marketing trends for 2015, heavily emphasized the importance of mobile media. While some industry experts have been loudly declaring the importance of mobile marketing for years, this message appears not to have reached the marketers in the trenches. But as with all things, there is a tipping point, and it could soon be reached. Currently there is significant spending on mobile marketing among large corporations, but as of now it seems to be poorly incorporated with other marketing efforts and not a part of most's businesses overall picture.

If your business is spending on digital marketing, it is certainly worth reexamining how much of this budget is allocated to spending on mobile marketing and if mobile marketing is functioning alongside your company's marketing as a whole. This is not a fad. Next time you are out in public, look at everyone surrounding you and count the smartphones. Then ask yourself if you're focusing enough of your business's marketing budget on mobile. The answer is very likely no.