'Lack of understanding' still holds back mobile spend

A “lack of understanding” on mobile among both agencies and brand-side marketers is still the largest hurdle to bigger mobile advertising budgets according to the latest IAB study.

Mobile Phone

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) study also reveals widespread deficiencies in understanding of specialist areas of mobile marketing, including privacy and responsive web design, with 53 per cent of agencies claiming to have no experience in these areas.

For the second year running, a “lack of understanding” among brands has been the most cited reason for agencies not spending more on mobile marketing according to the study.

Findings from this year’s study, which quizzed 350 media agency professionals, indicate that 70 per cent of respondents said they would spend more on mobile if clients better understood how it works.

Tracking and measuring the effectiveness of mobile advertising also continues to be an issue with 31 per cent of respondents reporting this as a reason for not investing more on mobile. Meanwhile, 49 per cent reported not knowing enough about real-time advertising on mobile and 48 per cent said that they had no experience of NFC.

The survey, carried out by research firm Work in December 2012, also reveals that mobile is significantly less siloed within agencies compared to previous years.

Only 17 per cent of respondents reported a “lack of internal resource” as holding back spend on mobile according to this year’s study. This is compared to 33 per cent in the previous year’s study.

Other signs that mobile marketing spend is set to increase significantly is senior management is now starting to insist on its inclusions within advertising campaigns according to Alex Kozloff, a senior mobile manager at the IAB.

Last week, the IAB lifted the lid on its plans to ‘make mobile mandatory’ among brands’ online practice this year after it found mobile activation among brands significantly lagged consumer uptake of the medium.

The trade body’s most recent look at the websites of the UK’s top 100 brand advertisers found nearly 57 per cent had mobile optimised sites, representing a rise of 54 per cent in six months. A separate IAB study of consumer habits shows 69 per cent of the UK population intends to “dramatically increase” their mobile media consumption by 2015.

Readers' comments (2)

  • I’m not surprised that this lack of understanding is still pervading brands’ perceptions of mobile marketing. Indeed, for many the term ‘mobile marketing’ is seen as being too intrusive and therefore a risk, when in reality if done properly it can become an integral tool for marketers.

    Lack of understanding is especially rife with regards to SMS marketing. It has moved on leaps and bounds from spamming and unsolicited texts, and those responsible have recently been hit with large fines, proving just how outdated this approach is. In the past few years SMS has matured into a targeted tool that can be used intelligently to link back to a company’s mobile website, send personalised content and collate customer feedback, to name but a few uses.

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  • Tracking and measuring the effectiveness of mobile advertising is definitely very important, but I would say that available resources to do so are improving, particularly among ad networks. Another factor that needs to be addressed is crash analytics. Developers especially need the ability to detect problems quickly so that they can be fixed, maximizing revenue potential. In the last year or so, I've really seen ad networks like Airpush step up on analytics reporting, but the industry as a whole still has a lot of catching up to do. http://blog.airpush.com/why-airpushs-new-sdk-is-huge-for-advertisers-and-developers/

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