SHANGHAI: The huge uptake of smartphones in China has enabled more than one in three of the nation's marketers to test or incorporate mobile as part of their campaigns, according to a survey from Experian Marketing Services.

In its "Mobile Marketing in China" report, the UK-based information services company found that 36% of its sample of 321 Chinese marketers have already tested mobile marketing to reach audiences, while 16% have used mobile as their regular marketing channel.

With the Chinese mobile market expected to grow to a total of 500m devices in use by the end of 2013, 84% of respondents said they expected sales via mobile devices to increase significantly this year.

Chris Yao, managing director of Experian Greater China, said: "Mobile marketing is now bringing ample opportunities for Chinese businesses of all sizes to engage with their vast consumer base more effectively."

He added: "The business opportunity is tremendous, and we expect to see marketers adopt ground-breaking innovations in China's highly competitive and segmented markets."

SMS emerged as the mobile channel cited by respondents as being the most important method of communicating with customers. 29% of marketers from the B2B and B2C sectors said they regarded SMS as their core means of communication.

However, mobile-optimised email, software custom application and the use of barcodes also gained ground and are expected to grow in 2013.

Despite the overall optimistic response from the survey, the results also suggested that Chinese marketers still expect some obstacles to growth.

Respondents pointed to a lack of multi-channel strategies, poor corporate support at a senior level, and inadequate in-house resources as being short-term impediments to the launch of effective mobile campaigns.

Data sourced from Experian; additional content by Warc staff