Major brands are looking to invest heavily in mobile marketing over the next five years, according to an independent survey of large brands in the financial services, retail and manufacturing sectors commissioned by O2.
The mobile network commissioned Vanson Bourne in May 2008 to survey IT directors and marketing directors in 100 leading brands about their current and future plans for mobile marketing. Despite the economic slowdown, the report finds that budgets for mobile marketing and communications will increase almost 150% by 2013.
While online advertising is currently more popular than mobile Internet marketing, two thirds of businesses state that mobile marketing campaigns generate a higher response rate than traditional methods due to the more personal ways they can reach their customers. The majority of marketing directors (60%) favour mobile marketing thanks to its highly targeted nature, particularly those in the financial services sector.
However, half of those yet to deploy a mobile marketing campaign are concerned that their customers will view marketing text messages as spam. This misconception is confirmed by 46% of respondents, who stated they would only use mobile marketing if they were able to target their campaigns specifically, even though other users believe that mobile marketing has the ability to provide more targeting possibilities than any other advertising platform.
The most popular use of mobile marketing is for information services campaigns across the retail (60%) and financial services (54%) sectors, while 40% use mobile marketing to send booking confirmations, deliver appointment updates, and confirm items in stock.
Other popular uses of mobile marketing highlighted in the report include text-to-win competitions (28%); text-to-call back campaigns (24%); and text-to-email campaigns (24%).
Of all mobile marketing solutions, SMS marketing is proving to be the most popular, with almost a third of businesses surveyed using text messages to reach their existing or potential customers. Significantly, brands are not only using SMS, MMS and mobile barcoding techniques to communicate with their customers but almost half of those questioned (44%) use mobile for internal communication campaigns, including 98% of respondents in the manufacturing sector.
Although brand experience of mobile marketing is increasingly positive, concerns about integration remain high for IT directors, with 43% expecting difficulty integrating SMS marketing within their current IT infrastructure. However, of all brands currently deploying mobile marketing campaigns, 95% have experienced very little or no integration problems.
As SMS continues to grow, there has never been a better time for brands to engage with their customers via mobile, says Simon Dean, Head of Mobile Media at O2 UK. In todays economic climate, mobile is proving to be a cost effective, targeted way for businesses to interact with exactly the people they want, from sending a text reminder to alert a customer to an overdrawn bank account to confirming a delivery via SMS.