Mobile Marketing a Work in Progress

Discussion
Dec 07, 2011

Despite all of the hype surrounding mobile commerce, only 36 percent of chief marketing officers (CMOs) have included mobile in their holiday marketing strategies this year, according to a recent BDO USA survey. Of the CMOs incorporating mobile, 84 percent said it accounted for less than 10 percent of their holiday marketing efforts.

The findings, based on a survey of 100 chief marketing officers at leading retailers across the country, come as the survey showed that overall holiday marketing and advertising budgets remained at the same level as last year.

“Mobile marketing is still in the experimental stage, and flat holiday advertising budgets do not leave much room to test new waters,” said Steve Ferrara, partner in the Retail and Consumer Practice at BDO USA, LLP, in a statement. “Still, mobile is hardly an afterthought for retailers. As consumers demand a more personal brand experience, we expect to see huge growth for mobile as it follows the same trajectory of the now-ubiquitous e-commerce channel.”

The mobile ad spend data from BDO’s survey comes as Tealeaf’s Mobile Shopping Experience Report — based on an analysis on social media conversations of some top 35 mobile retailers over Black Friday weekend — found 58 percent of conversations praising mobile commerce with 36 percent favorably approving mobile features and functionality. Yet 41 percent of online conversations about mobile shopping reflected customer frustration. Less than one-fifth (17 percent) stated mobile apps/sites were easy to use and more than half (58 percent) of the negative conversations focused specifically on customer struggle issues, including payment problems and search-and-sort problems.

Discussion Questions: Are retailers wise to move cautiously in the area of mobile marketing? Where do you see the most promising opportunities from a retail marketing standpoint?

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11 Comments on "Mobile Marketing a Work in Progress"


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Max Goldberg
Guest
9 years 5 months ago

Mobile commerce is still in its infancy. As such, many retailers and brands are hesitant to embrace it. The real breakthrough will come when mobile payment is accepted by consumers and retailers. Retailers should not hesitate to dip a toe in the water and experiment with mobile. Mobile’s day is coming and retailers must be prepared.

Dan Berthiaume
Guest
Dan Berthiaume
9 years 5 months ago

Retailers should always move cautiously with emerging technology, but caution does not have to equal painfully slow. Mobile tech is clearly changing people’s lives and behavior patterns and ignoring it is as bad an idea as ignoring e-commerce was 10 years ago. Smartphones will essentially replace PCs in the not too distant future, and business needs to be ready for the shift.

Hayes Minor
Guest
Hayes Minor
9 years 5 months ago

At least retailers are willing to experiment at some level with mobile and decide whether it makes sense for their marketing plans. Kudos to those that are starting with a strategy first, then determining what tactics help deliver on that strategy versus the other way around.

I see too many ‘me toos’ in marketing today. I think the QR code is the best example of a tactic that many brands and retailers are quick to utilize without much thought of the end user experience and/or the strategic though behind why a QR code might make sense for their business needs.

Mobile will develop quickly because the shoppers are asking for it. Let’s just hope the retailers and brands get the right mobile strategies in place quickly to meet the shoppers needs.

Lisa Bradner
Guest
Lisa Bradner
9 years 5 months ago

Again, Max is spot on. Consumers are ahead of the curve on mobile while retailers and other marketers are struggling to catch up. There are plenty of barriers in the form of different carriers, different platforms, etc, but retailers need to get in and start experimenting. The lesson though — don’t invest in expensive and heavy platforms right now while the technology and usage are still evolving. Treat this as R&D, rely on partners and experiment with quick ins and outs.

Camille P. Schuster, Ph.D.
Guest
9 years 5 months ago

Taking time to understand how your consumers use social media is essential for success. Experimenting with some strategies is also essential for success. Making social media a major focus of your strategy at this time is only necessary if this is a major source of information and/or decision making for members of your target market.

Ralph Jacobson
Guest
9 years 5 months ago

Several retailers have used mobile for years now. From simple text offers in the beginning, to the more targeted, yet ubiquitous offers of today, marketers need to capture the attention of the shopper with a straightforward interface and click through process. Several great retailers are trying new applications, including many of those mentioned in today’s topics on RetailWire.

Bottom line, the guy feel has to be extracted from mobile marketing. Increased revenue will result when customer analytics are leveraged and that will be the big pay off. Driving top-line growth by bringing science to the art of marketing can be achieved by the utilization of the tools available in the marketplace today. There’s some great stuff out there.

Jonathan Marek
Guest
9 years 5 months ago

Combined this with today’s other topic, can’t we think of some way to market creatively and effectively in-store while they get their device out to use Amazon Price Check?

Dan Frechtling
Guest
9 years 5 months ago

Retailers are wise to move into mobile as Lisa notes because their shoppers are ahead of them.

But US shoppers unforgiving about poor mobile experience. US and UK consumers were asked if they’d be more likely to try a competitor if a retailer mobile website was not working. In the UK 25% of consumers would try a competitor (Episerver) while in the US 63% of consumers would be less likely to buy from the retailer (Harris).

Expectations of US shoppers are extraordinarily high for a maturing channel. 85% of consumers who have conducted a mobile transaction expect the mobile experience to be better than a laptop or desktop computer.

Verlin Youd
Guest
9 years 5 months ago

The mobile consumer is here to stay. I can’t help but compare this to the discussions of a decade ago when retailers debated the value of the internet, both in terms of marketing and commerce. We know how that turned out, and I have a sneaking suspicion we know how consumer mobility will turn out as well. Those who want to stay relevant with today’s customer should have plans and budgets that include mobile marketing and commerce relevant to their target markets.

Janet Dorenkott
Guest
Janet Dorenkott
9 years 5 months ago

Retailers should be aggressively be pursuing mobile marketing. I don’t believe “Mobile marketing is still in the experimental stage.” That may be true for some companies, but if that is the case, they are moving too slow.

With smart phones dominating the consumer preference right now, retailers who are still on the sideline with mobile marketing have much to lose. Mobile marketing is here, it’s solid, and those who are late to the game will be left in the dust.

Smart phones are not just something college kids are using. Baby boomers are adopting them quickly and learning to use the apps.

Ronnie Perchik
Guest
Ronnie Perchik
9 years 5 months ago

As with any new medium, technology or form of nontraditional marketing, marketers need to tread lightly. But it’s not as much about not dipping into the new space, but rather ensuring the ideation and activation are done in the right way.

Mobile is a powerful vehicle for brands and retailers. Consumers have spoken, the eyes are there, and if marketers utilize this medium properly, they can see a strong ROI. One way to ensure this happens is to hire a partner agency or vendor that specializes in mobile marketing. Yes, perhaps you’re taking a chance by spending the budget, but it’s a strong investment.

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