You’ve seen all the numbers. Heck, just look around. People are increasingly reliant on their mobile devices to meet the needs of their daily lives. They’re consuming content via mobile devices and interacting with the physical world in a wide range of ways.
The importance of mobile in our daily lives was recently reflected in a July 2011 report from Metacafe:
- 31 percent of survey respondents said they can’t live without their mobile phone;
- 22 percent said they can’t live without their smartphone;
- 19 percent said they can’t live without their video game console; and
- 7 percent said they can’t live without their tablet.
If that weren’t enough, the other categories in the survey show that consumers also find radio, newspapers, magazines, TV, laptops and PCs, and e-reader devices to be of value as well, all of which are increasingly taking on a mobile hue. Mobile is fundamentally shaping how the modern-day consumer interacts with the world.
It’s certainly exciting watching the growth of mobile and its use for consumer engagement and marketing. However, when you look at the adoption numbers of mobile, as well as all the ways consumers are using their mobile devices, we’re not seeing an equal growth of media spend within the mobile media and advertising categories. True, there’s a number of forward-looking brands that have embraced mobile as a medium to engage their customers, but for the majority of brand marketers mobile still eludes them.
They don’t have a mobile presence; that is, the majority of marketers have yet to deploy a mobile-optimized website, application or messaging solution that seamlessly interfaces their core brand message, offerings, content and customer relationship management solutions.
It’s clear that brand marketers are beginning to emotionally understand the strategic imperative of mobile, but when it comes to allocating budget the results speak for themselves. Most marketers haven’t moved past the emotion of knowing they need mobile to the next stage of critical decision making in order to allocate larger portions of their budget to mobile.
There are a number of factors that, if addressed, can help brand marketers make informed investment decisions in the mobile space. What brands want or need are:
- comparable case studies and benchmark metrics from players within their respective market sector;
- research that provides directional evidence of brand marketing spend allocations across industries and media;
- efficiencies in mobile presence development and media buying/targeting across all media; and
- education on why and where spending can be effectively applied to meet specific objectives, how to execute programs that enhance engagement at every stage of the consideration funnel, and when programs should be developed and delivered — and in what sequence.
Research, education and experience sharing (i.e., case studies) are all factors that can be addressed in short order. Market players (e.g., brand marketers, agencies, media and advertising companies, and the myriad of mobile experience enablers) need to join forces with the common understanding that the world is mobile. A collective force — e.g., the global Mobile Marketing Association membership base in partnership with the Association of National Advertisers, the Direct Marketing Association and others — can create the momentum needed to address the above factors, as well as reduce industry friction and serve the consumers of today who clearly have the world in the palm of their hands. They just need guidance on how to embrace it. A great place to join forces is at trade events, within association committees, with our respective customers and communities, and, most importantly, within our own firms. To embrace tomorrow you must embrace mobile today. Life is mobile.