Integrating mobile in cross-channel marketing: still a long way to go


As written recently by Manu De Ros, mobile is taking its' place in the marketing mix. Obviously, there are several ways to do this. The most popular way of using mobile for marketing purposes, however, is by integrating it in cross-channel and stand-alone campaigns.

And text messaging (SMS, mainly) is leading the way here, while advertisers are exploring other mobile marketing opportunities. It's clear that most brands, including many companies I speak with, are still investigating and testing.

eMarketer, for instance, found that US advertisers will spend a whopping 1.1 billion USD on mobile this year but at the same time finds that "mobile is still in the relatively early stages, with sporadic or disconnected efforts not tied to an overall marketing campaign."

Or in other words: marketers realize the opportunities of mobile but probably tend to see it as a channel, which it is really not. This doesn't mean, however, that it's wrong to look at all the different interaction opportunities that mobile devices offer: from email to text messaging (SMS)  and location-based services, to name just a few.

eMarketer mentions research from Chief Marketer, claiming that over 50% of responding marketers are running mobile campaigns this year but that only just over a third of marketers integrated mobile in an integrated, cross-platform strategy last year. 58% wants to do exactly that this year, the same survey indicated.

Usage patterns and content activities of mobile users: the lack of a goal

A very striking finding is that one in three respondents to the survey assume their customers are mobile but don't have a clue really what they do and what their mobile content activities are.

So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that integrating mobile, even more traditional activities as SMS, doesn't really find its' way into a cross-platform and cross-channel campaign approach. Moreover, mobile is not about campaigns only.

The tactic that most marketers reported to use for reaching out to mobile users is text messaging (over 59%), followed by 2-D barcodes, including QR codes (over 53%).

The lack of a cross-platform and integrated view on mobile shouldn't come as a surprise. It's a phenomenon we see in all marketing activities so why should mobile be an exception? It's disappointing to notice many marketers are not able to have that crucial integrated view and sad that the way they tackle mobile is again a very channel- and campaign-centric instead of a user-centric and holistic one.

Finally, the fact that marketers "do" mobile marketing without knowing the usage patterns and content interaction of their "target audiences" shows that many again jump on the bandwagon, without knowing why, as is still so often the case in social as well.

If you don't know all this, you can't have a goal, let alone ROI, either. Cross-channel and usage pattern insights are a must.


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