Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Mobile Marketing

The importance of mobile and why it’s a smart bet even if it feels risky.

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“Mobile is devouring the world.” That’s what Dunkin’ Donuts Chief Global Customer and Marketing Officer John Costello stated in an interview with Advertising Age last June.

The importance of mobile is recognized across many industries, yet there are still companies that are struggling to keep up with the growing mobile trend. Part of the reason is that mobile still feels risky, especially for large companies with a lot at stake. In that same Advertising Age interview, Costello shared, “It was a big risk to invest millions of dollars to develop a world-class mobile app.” At the time of that article, 11 million people had downloaded the Dunkin’ Donuts app.

Although it can feel risky, here’s why mobile marketing is a smart bet.

 

 

Mobile is too hot to ignore

We’ve all known for a while that mobile is growing enormously, but the numbers surrounding mobile usage are staggering and form a strong argument about the power of mobile marketing. For example, time spent in mobile apps has grown 90% since 2013 and wearable usage jumped 57% from 2014 to 2015 (25.1 million to 39.5 million).

As mobile usage grows, marketers continue to explore interesting ways to engage with customers and monetize the time people are spending on their devices, making the mobile landscape both compelling and competitive. According to eMarketer, mobile ad spend will top $100 billion worldwide, making up 51% of the digital market. Additionally, CMOs plan to increase their mobile budgets by 160% in the next three years.

 

Appboy Infographic Mobile Usage Stats

Here’s how drastically mobile usage has changed. (Source: KPCB, 2015 Internet Trends and comScore, 2015 U.S. Mobile App Report)

 

The money is flowing to mobile, but are marketers seeing results? Most definitely.

Last August, the IAB reported global mobile ad revenue in 2014 reached $31.9 billion, a 65% increase over the previous year. Plus, consumer spending in mobile apps is breaking records. The Apple App Store had a record-breaking holiday season in 2015. In the two weeks ending January 3, app users spent over $1.1 billion on apps and in-app purchases, setting back-to-back weekly records for traffic and purchases.

Not every trend is worth considering (exception for GIFs), but the data above is a huge indication that the mobile trend should be taken seriously. This is now a mobile-centric world, and marketing budgets and consumer behavior are reflecting this notion. You may be tempted to gather your developer troops and create technology in-house to support your mobile initiatives, but there is way to make mobile marketing less risky.

You don’t have to go into mobile marketing alone

Jumping into mobile marketing feels risky, and developing a complicated marketing solution in-house can amplify your fears. If you need a helping hand reaching your customers on mobile, the good news is you don’t have to go at it alone.

Off-the-shelf mobile marketing automation platforms are a powerful way to test and optimize your mobile marketing efforts and alleviate the growing pains associated with building an in-house solution. Of course, not all mobile marketing automation platforms are created equal. It’s important to choose one that will meet your company’s needs.

If you’re ready to take the dive into mobile and research mobile marketing automation platforms, here are some tactics to prepare your company:

  • Dedicate resources (money, people and their time): The only way to take mobile seriously is to dedicate money, time, and employees to researching, running demos, and integrating third-party mobile marketing automation platforms. Make sure mobile is a topic of discussion the next time budgeting comes around.
  • Ask the right questions when speaking to potential vendors: Mobile is a competitive space, and as such there are a lot of players swimming for the same fish. Asking the right questions is the best way to separate the wolves from the sheep. Here’s an RFP-making guide to help you interview your potential mobile marketing partners and make sure they have what you need to grow your marketing efforts.
  • Make cutting-edge tech a priority in your company: Promote an attitude of trying new, ahead-of-the-curve projects and using new technologies to grow your business efficiently. Encourage executives to explore innovative technologies and ask managers to submit investment recommendations. Just don’t get left behind.

Avoiding mobile because of the risks involved may prove to be a mistake in the long run. Don’t be that company that could have reached its potential. Now is the time to start getting serious about mobile and start engaging with your customers on the very devices they never seem to put down.

Think you’re ready to start engaging with your customers on mobile? Make a good first impression with these essentials to mobile onboarding.

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