Email, social networks and mobile devices have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Just how much influence they have is apparent when you look at these facts from recent studies:
- 97% of US households use email.
- 75% of Internet connected homes use social networks.
- 91% of the US population uses a mobile device.
- 23% use a smart phone.
Mobile marketing gives your clients an opportunity to provide an integrated customer experience using all three - email, social, and mobile. But while social networks have been embraced by a majority of marketers, mobile marketing still lags significantly. Mobile marketing offers a great avenue for an agency to help their clients grow their business.
A new study from eROI, The Current State of Social, Mobile & Email Integration, provides a good snapshot on where marketers stand today, and offers some interesting insights on how marketers can better integrate mobile into their marketing strategy. Why should they consider mobile? As this study concludes, Once a good user experience and relevant content are present, consumer adoption is accelerated and, as history has shown, companies that are first to offer these things in untapped mediums typically benefit the most from them (think amazon.com, Apple, AOL, Yahoo).
So here are some of the findings from this study of more than 500 marketers that you can use to alert your clients to this opportunity:
Mobile marketing is often a forgotten medium by online marketers. The study found that mobile marketing integration into email and online programs is relatively low, and few marketers are putting much effort on this channel despite the growing adoption rates of mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Kin, Droid, etc.). Recent studies from Internet monitors predict that mobile Internet access will soon outpace PC access usage, so marketers must be prepared to adopt mobile or lose mindshare.
Only 1/3 of marketers surveyed consider mobile important. When marketers were asked about the importance of digital marketing experiences and the importance of an optimized mobile experience, only 31.6% said that mobile-optimized experiences matter for their audiences. Another quarter of respondents (24.6%) are currently testing, while the remainder said they just weren't sure or that mobile was not important.
When asked if their companies were measuring the use of mobile devices for their email subscribers, nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents said no and another 11.5% were not sure.
Not surprisingly, two-thirds of respondents do not use mobile versions of their websites or landing pages.
Since the majority of marketers surveyed were unaware of their customer/ subscriber audience usage patterns, as it related to mobile, it is no wonder that 77% of marketers are not offering , or are unaware of, mobile versions of their websites (67.6% not using; 9.4% not sure). Of those that are offering mobile-optimized websites, 68% are providing limited versions of their websites and 32% offer their entire website in a web-optimized format.
Now is the time for agencies to encourage their clients to start experimenting with mobile to determine its relevance for their organization. Based on this study by eROI, it would appear that the best way to begin to understand the mobile web is to look at website analytics. As the opportunities for mobile marketing continue to expand, marketers need to begin to understand more about the mobile web and how their customers are using it. Providing the right content in the appropriate context is a basic rule of marketing. Not every marketer needs to provide a fully functional mobile website experience, but how will you know if you need it if you don't have a clue as to your audience usage patterns.
Many marketers unwittingly believe that the only way to do mobile right is to provide a custom application, and they are expensive to produce. But as web standards improve, there is a big rise in the use of mobile web over applications. Email remains one of the most popular mobile Internet activities not just by time spent but also by penetration. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 34% of all US mobile subscribers used email on their phone in May 2010, compared with 23% who used a social networking site.
The overall conclusion from this study is that marketers need to invest more time and energy to understand if the mobile web can contribute to their marketing program. Those who do stand a better chance at keeping pace with their customer's media usage. Those who don't may be left behind.
The full study offers other insights and opportunities on integrating social media as well. You can access the full study at http://www.eroi.com/online-marketing-resource-center/resource-center/
As I have noted in previous posts, many clients are simply overwhelmed by the new digital tools and how to use them to their advantage. In today's challenging marketplace, clients are not saying to their agencies, "How can you help us make ads or a new web site," they're saying, "how much do you understand about our business in order to help us build a bridge between our brand and our customers." The question is not just how to effectively use email, blogs, podcasts, mobile marketing, viral marketing, pay-per-click, user-generated content, Twitter, etc., but how to mix them with traditional media to create the most impact.
Understanding the potential value of mobile marketing is another way agencies can help their clients compete.