MMA Emphasizes the Importance of Mobile in Marketing Mix [#CZLSF]

Mobile is important. More important than you realize. That was the message from Greg Stuart, chief executive (CEO) of the Mobile Marketing Association, at the afternoon keynote at ClickZ Live San Francisco on Tuesday. Starting with the infamous “plastics” clip from The Graduate, Stuart conjectured that today’s new “plastics” is mobile.

Stuart asked the audience if they thought the time is right for mobile? Absolutely, he says. Here are the core components of mobile:

  1. Consumer Behavior
  2. Marketer Adoption
  3. Mobile Unique Sellers’ Position


Consumer Behavior

Nearly everyone has a phone. Smartphone penetration is around 30 percent now worldwide. In the U.S., it’s been more – it’s nearly 50 percent of the population. This is significant because mobile smartphones bring a major change of behavior. Our smartphones are now our media devices. We have transformed our lives for them. Stuart doesn’t see his teenager’s faces at home, only the backs of their phones, he muses. However, pageviews have nearly doubled as a result of mobile. And in some cases, they more than doubled.

Marketer Adoption

Are marketers really adopting mobile as a platform? They’re getting there. Stuart has a great deal of case studies. But it’s been slow. However, he offers some great statistics on the future of marketers:

  • 76 percent of marketers agree that mobile is the closet you can get to the consumer.
  • 68 percent of marketers agree mobile is the best way to transform their business model.
  • 72 percent of marketers agree mobile is the absolute best way to build return on investment (ROI).
  • 80 percent of marketers agree mobile is a way to improve your career.

So marketers agree that mobile is great at improving business and getting as close as possible to the consumer. Those numbers are encouraging. But will companies actually pull the trigger? Stuart has more statistics. How will these companies actually invest more on mobile next year?

  • 61 percent will spend on consultants for mobile strategy.
  • 68 percent will spend on asset creation specifically for mobile.
  • 61 percent will spend on additional data for mobile.

Unique Sellers’ Position

The unique sellers’ position is supported by high values of personalization, persuasiveness, and the ability to market to consumers based on proximity. Ultimately, investing in mobile is powerful and brings you closer to your customers on a level no other platform can deliver.

Stuart’s case study is on AT&T and how they used mobile. For the study, the target demographic was older than 18 years old, and data was collected for less than a month last fall. The campaign focused on a particular Motorola phone, not the AT&T service itself. It was executed over TV, online desktop, print, and ever so slightly on mobile.

In the end, TV reached nearly 20 million people, vastly more than any of the other channels. However, when they compared the impact they received for each dollar they spent, they discovered that mobile delivered two times the impact per dollar than TV. This is significant, Stuart says, because if you need to figure out where to get your best bang for your buck while spending your advertising dollars, you want to maximize that return. Do you want reach or actual ROI? With a lot of the traditional media channels, you start to reach a point of diminishing returns. You’ll only go so far with your advertising dollars. What the study showed was that while AT&T only spent 1 percent of their budget on mobile advertising, they should have put much more than 1 percent of their budget toward it.

Like good data-driven decision makers, they analyzed their results and created a new plan of action. So, for the second iteration of the campaign, they reallocated funding. They pulled an insignificant amount from the TV and print budgets, while keeping the spend at a level that didn’t affect results, and moved it into the mobile budget. By doing so, they were able to increase their ROI significantly.

Be reallocating spend to mobile, AT&T discovered there is an incremental potential of 2.5 million people or 12 percent more. That number is almost the equivalent of the entire population of Chicago.

Stuart went on to show that if AT&T had optimized their campaign content by A/B testing, they would have had increased opportunities to augment the effectiveness of the individual ads within a channel for specific demographics. Specifically, men reacted and purchased more from particular ads than others.

Are you planning to spend more on mobile? Many still aren’t. In response, Stuart had more data. Nearly half of the marketers surveyed – 47 percent – say mobile is too difficult to measure. But chief marketing officers need to find the answer. There’s enough touch points that it can be measured.

In response, Stuart has formed a group within his Mobile Marketing Association called SMox.ME is an acronym for Smart Mobile Cross-Marketing Effectiveness studies. These studies statistically and scientifically determine how various marketing mixes perform in relation to each other, more specifically, how the impact occurs and how mobile can increase that reach. Public data will be forthcoming. But in the meantime, if you want to do a SMoX study, reach out to them at the MMA website.

Homepage image via Simon Heseltine. Story image via Thom Craver.

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