People check their smartphones upwards of 200 times a day, and if last year’s impressive sales figures for the iPhone 6 are anything to go by – a record-breaking 74.5 million in Q4 alone – this number is unlikely to fall anytime soon. That means hundreds of opportunities for marketers to get the right message across to the right person every day – yet many are still struggling to even get started with mobile marketing, leaving a huge opportunity for brands and agencies.
Our recent ‘State of the Industry’ report found that, of the 250 European marketers surveyed, just over half of marketers were already retargeting across mobile (56%), with 20% also ranking mobile and cross-device as a key opportunity in retargeting. This leaves 44% of marketers who are missing out on a critical step in their customers’ journeys.
While most noted this was because they felt mobile had yet to develop a good user experience (cited by 36% of marketers), some were holding back for even more basic reasons, like not having their own app (27%) or mobile site (23%).
By not bringing their indispensable marketing tools like retargeting to mobile, marketers are losing out on an ideal opportunity to reach their target customers. For those with their own apps or mobile sites, retargeting across mobile becomes even more important: research by comScore found that 46% of shoppers are less likely to comparison shop when using a brand’s own app, and mobile internet access is increasing rapidly around the world. According to inMobi, outside the US and UK, people are now going online primarily via mobile (37%) or evenly split between mobile and PC (28%) – far outstripping the 11% who mainly access the internet via their desktops.
More importantly, marketers also need to crack mobile marketing to make the most of an even bigger issue: attribution. As users’ journeys become more complicated, involving even more screens and devices, relying on the old standbys of either first or last touch as your primary attribution source won’t cut it any more – yet just 39% say they track attribution on most campaigns, and 66% still depend on either first or last touch. A third of those surveyed in the AdRoll State of the Industry report see attribution as critical (33%), primarily for the customer insights it can deliver. Nearly two-thirds of marketers feel attribution is important to understanding customers better (60%), while over half felt it was fundamental in better understanding where to apply marketing spend (51%) – and make the most of these investments.
While it’s still early days for multi-faceted, cross-platform tracking that will take many different sources – mobiles, tablets, smartwatches, TV and so on – into account, understanding how best to reach customers on their mobiles and measure the effects of mobile advertising will be invaluable for marketers in the year ahead.
Especially as it’s not just smartphones marketers need to contend with anymore. At this year’s Mobile World Congress, industry heavyweights from HTC to Samsung revealed new gadgets that went far beyond just faster, better smartphones, from HTC’s virtual reality headset Vive to the new LG smartwatch Urbane. Before marketers can take advantage of the latest and greatest wearables out there, however, it’s worth taking stock of the mobile marketing you’re already investing in – or holding back from – to make sure you’re as plugged in as your customers.