NEW YORK: A majority of brand owners are planning to increase their mobile marketing activity this year, a study has found.

Trade bodies the Association of National Advertisers and Mobile Marketing Association surveyed senior executives, mostly drawn from the ANA's membership - and found that 88% of the panel intended to follow such a route.

Interviews were then conducted with 97 client-side marketers that had expressed a desire to make enhanced use of this channel in 2011.

The report also found 62% of the panel had used the medium last year, alongside 26% expecting to run their first initiatives.

To date, 71% of corporations had afforded responsibility for this discipline to an existing in-house unit - generally digital marketing teams - while 19% assigned these duties to a newly-created group.

Regarding budgets, 75% of participants projected expenditure levels on behalf of their brands would climb by an average of 59%.

At present, contributors already boasting a mobile presence had collectively adopted around 12 different formats to promote products.

The top five - deployed by at least half of the featured firms - were mobile websites, apps, SMS, display ads and search.

Among the main advantages of embracing this form of communications were portable web access, and the capacity to deliver content and deals to consumers on the move.

Furthermore, it was argued to offer convenience in terms of providing immediate customer and sales support, and help build loyalty.

However, only 25% of executives stated their previous mobile efforts had performed "extremely" or "very" well, and another 53% described these programmes as "somewhat" successful.

The characteristics demonstrated by the most effective marketers included a longer history of using mobile, utilising a larger number of individual platforms and pursuing an integrated strategy.

Establishing meaningful measurement tools and employing a wide variety of monitoring techniques also typically yielded stronger results.

Similarly, the absence of metrics to properly allocate mobile within the media mix and an ability to prove ROI were named as two primary obstacles to greater uptake.

A lack of understanding on the part of key colleagues had also slowed this process, the ANA/MMA research revealed.

"Mobile is clearly a fast-growing platform for marketers, but it has yet to attain its full potential," said Bob Liodice, the ANA's president/ceo.

"With the anticipated increase in adoption this year, we expect to see fresh, innovative approaches, increased brand-building success, and better accountability for this exciting channel."

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola was praised by respondents for its mobile advertising, and retailer Target received accolades having combined the mobile web with reward programmes and a "wish list".

Data sourced from MMA; additional content by Warc staff