Budget Increases Point to Mobile Maturation

Josh GordonWith today’s economic conditions, it seems like marketers get a steady stream of bad news. Well, perhaps “bad” is too strong… just unfavorable news. Company X is experiencing steep sales declines, Company T must recall hundreds of thousands of cars to make repairs, Company Y is preparing for a substantial set of layoffs. Sometimes even good news – like the fact that sales numbers are forecasted in the positive range for the retail sector in 2010 – are mitigated by the fact that the increase is forecasted at ONLY two and a half percent. Reading the business news can become exhausting.

So, are you ready for some good news?

According to a recent survey, marketing budgets for so-called “online marketing tactics” are all set for substantial increases in 2010.

To properly parse this chart out a bit, the catchall phrase “online marketing tactics” is far too general. “Online” has matured to the point where different sectors appear within the term. Those different sectors have different strengths. For example, social is one category while search is another specific type of online marketing while mobile, websites, and email fall under the direct digital marketing category.

It is no surprise that social marketing and search marketing budgets will increase. Social marketing is still in its exploratory phase and has not yet come close to critical mass or universal corporate adoption. As popular, ubiquitous, and crucial as search marketing is, the ceiling is still far from being reached there, too.

What is a bit surprising is how the survey forecasts a substantial increase in budget devoted to mobile marketing. The mobile marketing sector is far from mature, but more brands are identifying how to use the mobile channel to serve brand awareness and loyalty goals and acquisition and retention goals. More, mobile is in the beginning stages of being used to merge the online world and the in-store world in a meaningful way for the consumer. While some brands are still toe-dipping, a 56 percent increase in budget solely for mobile marketing is a big jump.

The survey spans all industries, too. Of course retail stands to benefit, but as Knotice’s CEO Brian Deagan recently said in an interview with Chris Crowell from Hotel and Motel Management, location-based “mobile opportunities… it’s the Holy Grail in some respects.”

The growth in marketer adoption of mobile marketing as a popular and crucial communications channel is set to increase more rapidly. Historically brands do not have “mobile marketing problems” they turn to solution-providers to solve. What is interesting about mobile marketing is that it is opening up entirely new communications opportunities to achieve any number of marketing goals.

The beauty of mobile is that the market is currently uncovering the tip of the iceberg.

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