LONDON: Mobile has already established itself as an important part of the marketing mix but a new WARC report indicates there is more to come as marketers embed formal mobile strategies and begin to exploit the possibilities of the Internet of Things and smart home technologies.

The State of the Industry: Mobile Marketing in EMEA 2018, published by WARC in association with the Mobile Marketing Association, is based on responses from more than 550 marketing professionals in 48 markets across the EMEA region.

This shows mobile is backed at senior levels, with 54% of client-side, media owner and tech vendor respondents saying they are ‘ready’ in terms of having the executive support and prioritisation for mobile adoption in their company.

But a similar proportion (54%) of client-side marketers do not have a formal mobile marketing strategy for their brand. Of the 46% that do have a formal strategy, almost two thirds (64%) say this strategy is closely connected to other marketing activities, the remainder (36%) indicating it is ‘slightly connected’.

Such findings suggest that mobile has not yet reached its potential for the majority of respondents. Most (61%) find it a ‘quite’ effective marketing channel, yet a higher proportion of respondents than in 2017 see mobile as ‘quite ineffective’ or ‘ineffective’ (8% vs 5%), indicating that there is still some way to go in optimising marketing effectiveness via mobile.

Nonetheless, marketers anticipate spending more money on mobile: 76% of client-side respondents expect their budgets to increase over the next year, while in five years’ time, 52% expect more than a quarter of their budgets will be spent on mobile.

Over that same time period, the focus of their efforts will shift away from mobile web display towards branded content and mobile-based loyalty schemes.

And while location data is currently the most used mobile tech, cited by 60% of respondents, that will be overtaken by the Internet of Things and smart home technologies; in 2023, 53% expect to be using them, compared to 50% using location data.

Use of mobile wallets (41%), virtual reality (37%) and augmented reality (44%) technology is also expected to increase significantly over the next five years.

Sourced from WARC