“Mobile” has been giving marketers fits for a decade.
Back in January 2007, when the first iPhone launched, the concept of mobile-optimized, or mobile-friendly, began to take root. In the years since–and with the many iPhone iterations and acceptance of competing platforms, such as Android–consumers have become evermore reliant on, and connected to, their mobile devices. Marketers, in turn, have had to shift their thinking from mobile-friendly to mobile-first.
A new study demonstrates that marketers are finally making real advancements here. In fact, according to the “Adobe Mobile Maturity Study,” the majority of marketing organizations have a centralized mobile leadership team responsible for the consumer mobile-experience strategy, with KPIs in place to measure their effectiveness. (Adobe is CMO.com’s parent company.)
The study also found that a fair proportion of marketing-technology spend is still allocated to creating, measuring, and optimizing mobile; most expect these expenditures to increase next year.
“We’ve seen a real acceleration over the past year from when companies would say mobile’s important. If you actually looked at where they were investing money, they were definitely web-first,” said Matt Asay, VP of mobile at Adobe. “Now companies are spending real money and shifting real dollars to mobile.”
How are marketers deciding where to invest in mobile? The majority said the overall strategic business plan and customer feedback are the most important sources in helping formulate the mobile plan, according to the report.
About one-third of mobile marketing spend is focused on driving acquisition, according to the report. Mobile app and website development play an important role in the overall mobile strategy, with marketers spending $4 million to $5 million on each per year. Mobile email was also cited as important.
This year’s findings show that marketers are getting smarter about their mobile strategies, Asay said. Many companies now are even trying to connect a mobile web and mobile app experience.
“They’re also thinking smarter about how to transition people from one to the other,” Asay said. “Before, [marketers] were focused on having both an app and a mobile site, but the two were totally separate. Now they’re starting to tie them to together.”
The report also points to shifts in how marketers spend on apps and websites, since the majority already have these experiences built. Today, spend on apps and mobile Web is about collecting data and making adjustments based on insights gleaned from the data.
“Marketers are bringing people to their apps and mobile sites, analyzing their behavior to understand what they're doing, and then engaging them in meaningful ways,” Asay said. “They are constantly optimizing experiences in an effort to retain.”
Additionally, many marketers calculate lifetime values in mobile, measure influence on conversions over other channels, or optimize conversion funnels via A/B testing.
“My advice to marketers is if you haven’t already, get really smart about mobile and be an enabling force for your product and enterprise IT teams," Asay concluded. “Otherwise you’ll find yourself sidelined and becoming somewhat irrelevant to the mobile plans within an enterprise.”