A recent study by the Mobile Marketing Association and Google, “Getting Started — A Brand Marketer’s Guide to the Mobile Web and Mobile Apps: Not an Either / Or Proposition,” suggests that mobile Internet usage is becoming as ubiquitous as PC internet usage, creating an imperative for brands and marketers to develop scalable marketing campaign strategy that applies to mobile apps and mobile web usage.
According to the report, 58 percent of consumers owning smartphones used the devices to access the Internet every day of the week, compared with 78 percent of PC users. Approximately 91 percent of smartphone users surveyed planned to use their devices even more frequently in the future for shopping and search activities. The rapidly closing gap between PC and mobile Web usage means that marketers ought to view the mobile Web as a key component of the online consumer engagement process.
“Marketing is increasingly becoming a data driven science as more and more potential channels of consumer engagement emerge and various methodologies of consumer engagement are possible,” said Michael Becker, managing director of the MMA. “It is not about just collecting data, it is about marketers creating comprehensive analytics strategies that make sense for their business. In other words, they need to understand what measurements will be important, incorporate those into their mobile programs and then evaluate them based on whether they are meeting the objectives of their overall marketing strategy.”
Becker believes that mobile should no longer be viewed as an add-on strategy to online branding and marketing plans, but rather as a core gateway for online commerce and consumer engagement. According to the MMA, not only will mobile commerce reach $119 billion in revenues by 2015, but four out of five consumers surveyed want to use their smartphones as wallets. That means not having a mobile marketing strategy in place now, may cause brands to miss out on a huge mobile commerce opportunity in the future.
Apps, according to Becker, are an integral part of the mobile web experience and should be viewed as part of the core of mobile marketing strategy. App downloads, currently at 18.1 billion per year are projected to reach 33 billion downloads per year by 2014. Coupled with consumer interest in mobile payments, and the fact that one in 3 mobile searches have local content, brands, Becker believes, need to build strategy on solid analytics in order to manage an increasingly mobile-oriented online future.
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy, Becker cautions, and brands need to monitor not only the rise in general mobile web adoption across the industry, but how a particular audience reacts within the context of their particular campaign.
“The reason for this is that mobile is such a personal medium, it can be difficult to generalize which mobile campaigns will work for one brand versus another,” said Becker. “Effective mobile analytics strategies will help brands create programs that will help them to understand that their campaigns are working and that their customers are responding to the brand’s value proposition.”