Companies rush to mobile, but online marketing efforts often fall short

by David Needle

March 6 2013

A new study of 1,300 U.S. marketing executives shows that many companies are rushing to get on the mobile bandwagon, but without a comprehensive strategy that adapts to changes in the market or that includes a plan for measuring results.

The report, compiled by Econsultancy and Kontagent (a mobile analytics firm), concluded that “too many companies have plowed ahead with launching products and services for mobile,” with campaigns that lacked key pieces of mobile strategy and technology.  

Kontagent CEO and cofounder Jeff Tseng compares the current rush to mobile to the dotcom boom when businesses moved quickly to establish a Web presence with mixed, sometimes disastrous, results.

“However, mobile adoption is outpacing any historical adoption trend,” said Tseng. “Businesses that will succeed on this next wave need to understand how to not only build outstanding experiences on mobile platforms, but also leverage user data rigorously in order to best measure and improve their mobile offerings.”

The study found mobile-first businesses are typically more advanced than their mainstream counterparts. Only 25% of mainstream organizations surveyed report having a well defined mobile strategy, while almost two-thirds (64%) of mobile-first organizations reported the same.

The importance of setting the right goals

A notable difference in the case of mobile-first businesses is that they identified ‘acquiring more customers’ and ‘building new customers’ as their top goals for mobile. By contrast, mainstream organizations more often reported fuzzier goals of ‘brand engagement/loyalty’ and ‘needing to stay competitive’ as key reasons to go mobile.

“Most of the companies we talked to have responded to the growth in mobile with ad hoc development in a rush to get onto the platform,” said Stefan Tornquist, VP of Research for Econsultancy’s U.S. branch. Econsultancy is a digital marketing consulting firm.

Key bullet points in the report’s survey of marketers across a wide spectrum of industries include:

·      Agencies find their brand clients falling behind with their mobile programs and were especially critical of clients’ lack of measurement and analytics
·      A majority (56%) of marketers rated their own mobile sites average or below average
·      Organizations are not adapting their mobile apps to the needs of their customers and prospects, with only 32% of mainstream businesses surveyed making changes more often than quarterly
·      Mobile sophistication is more prevalent in Games and Retail industries, while Financial Services and Travel sectors lag

David Needle is Editor of TabTimes and based in Silicon Valley
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