CMOs divided on how to use mobile, report says

Marketers have known for a while their customers are on mobile devices, and that mobile is a great way to reach them wherever they are. But not all mobile marketing strategies are created equal, according to a new survey.

In a survey released by the CMO Council and SAS in October, researchers spoke to 250 chief marketing officers (CMOs) to gauge attitudes towards mobile marketing, as well as what marketers are doing in mobile to reach people. About 61 per cent of respondents said they’ve integrated some element of mobile into their marketing strategy, with some respondents saying they’ve “fully integrated” it into every part of what they do.

(Image: CMO Council and SAS).
(Image: CMO Council and SAS).

However, a solid eight per cent have not implemented mobile, 21 per cent have added to some of their campaigns, but without a strategy, and 10 per cent have no strategy at all for combining mobile and marketing together.

Given the quick rate of adoption of mobile among consumers, that may be a surprising finding – yet maybe that can be explained by how some CMOs view mobile. About 22 per cent of those polled say they see mobile as new territory, and an area they’re still not fully comfortable with, while 15 per cent said they find mobile confusing.

There were also some CMOs who felt mobile has been blown out of proportion. Eighteen per cent of respondents said mobile is just another way to reach people, but it’s not the be-all, end-all. However, another 15 per cent of CMOs polled said they think mobile is just a new “shiny toy” for marketers to play with.

That’s in stark contrast to 55 per cent of CMOs, who said they feel mobile marketing strategies allow them to get more involved with their customers, helping them build more personalized experiences. Another 40 per cent said they see mobile as a way to collect data, and 36 per cent said they’ve actually learned a lot about the customers they’re serving through harnessing mobile marketing strategies.

Out of those respondents who are actively using mobile for their campaigns, the ways they use mobile are actually pretty fragmented. Three-quarters of CMOs said they’ve implemented mobile-friendly sites, while 66 per cent have had mobile apps built for their campaigns or organizations. Another 53 per cent have set up outbound text or multimedia messages, and 56 per cent have integrated mobile search into their campaigns.

What they’re most interested in tracking from those campaigns includes clicks and response rates, which is true for 49 per cent of CMOs polled. Forty-one per cent want to know about content consumption habits, 40 per cent are following app downloads, and 37 per cent are watching their conversion rates.

However, the CMO Council report noted this may not be enough to deem a campaign successful.

“What is most noticeable about the top measures being deployed is the campaign-centric nature of the metrics. They measure moments in time and are metrics that marketers have traditionally used as part of their general online or digital measurement process,” the report said.

“But as experience has shown with other engagement channels like social and even online experiences, measures such as adoption, clicks and viewership messages will not be enough to advance a business case for investment or truly prove business impact or ROI.”

It’s clear there’s a pretty sharp divide between CMOs who think mobile is key to their work, and CMOs who feel mobile is just a side attraction to their actual jobs. Among those CMOs who are actively using mobile, time will tell how they’ll continue measuring its effects – and whether their strategies will help grow their businesses.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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