NEW YORK: Spending on mobile marketing continues to grow but marketers face significant gaps with regards to skills and learning, and many agencies feel their clients are still not truly ready for mobile, according to a new WARC study.

For its State of the Industry: Mobile Marketing in North America report, WARC and the Mobile Marketing Association surveyed more than 700 marketers across Europe and the US,  and found that only 6% of US agencies thought their clients were fully ready for mobile adoption in terms of executive support and prioritization, compared to 32% of other marketers' assessment of their own readiness.

More than half of client-side, media owner and tech vendor respondents indicated they were 'ready', but at least one third of respondents were unsure.

A key area of work for marketers is the learning agenda for mobile: 44% were not ready in this regard.

The survey further revealed that almost two thirds (65%) of client-side marketers do not have a formal mobile marketing strategy for their brand; just 16% had a "closely connected strategy" in place.

Agencies had a slightly better image of their clients, with 19% reporting clients had a "closely connected strategy", but more than half (58%) said there were no formal mobile marketing strategies.

One reason may be that the vast majority of brands (80%) find mobile only a "quite" effective marketing channel, with few (12%) having extensive data and experience to conclude that it is "very" effective.

Nonetheless, in line with its effectiveness as a channel, mobile is seen as a priority for more than 90% of marketers in North America – although only a third of them would say it is a top priority – and almost three quarters (73%) on the client-side expect their budgets to increase.

Data sourced from WARC, MMA