Major brands are shifting significant marketing resources to marketing via mobile phones, according to an independent survey of 50 brand name companies commissioned by Airwide Solutions, the mobile infrastructure software provider. By 2008, 89% of brands will use text and multimedia messaging to reach their audience, with nearly one-third planning to spend in excess of 10% of marketing budgets on the medium. In five years over half of brands (52%) expect to spend between 5% and 25% of total marketing budget on mobile marketing.
Recognizing the prevalence of mobile text messaging, 40% of brands have already deployed text messaging campaigns, and 18% have deployed multimedia messaging (MMS) campaigns. Despite enthusiasm to adopt mobile marketing, growth is still inhibited by the lack of supporting information to manage and optimize marketing programs. More than half (55%) of responding brands are unsure how to reach specific target audiences via mobile campaigns, 58% are unsure about how to implement and measure an SMS campaign, and 61% unsure how to implement and measure a multimedia message (MMS) campaign.
The top three things that would make mobile marketing more attractive to brands are the ability to reach a specific target audience, information about how the user responded to a marketing message and proof that a message has been received by the user's handset.
Jay Seaton, chief marketing officer at Airwide comments: "The widespread acceptance of mobile messaging has created a pervasive and valuable new marketing opportunity for brands which is, in turn, creating a significant revenue opportunity for mobile operators. With reliable infrastructure in place and a means to control and measure campaigns, the starting gun will have gone off and it will be a race to create and deliver the most effective mobile marketing initiatives to subscribers that are more receptive than ever."
According to the survey, brands expect mobile marketing to become far more effective than traditional direct mail, with 47% expecting between 5% and 15% of recipients to request more information or a sample, and 34% expecting between 5% and 20% of recipients to undertake a financial transaction after receiving a mobile marketing message.
Mobile phone users are expected to benefit from a range of incentives as part of the growth of mobile marketing with half of brands to send special offers via the mobile phone and two in five sending competitions. Other incentives will include discount vouchers, free gifts and preferential terms.