Despite the mobile channel being the 'talk of the marketing world' in recent months, a survey by Affilinet at the recent Internet World conference found that there is still a long way for companies to go in terms of embracing the mobile channel, and that many believe there is still a great deal to be gained from offline channels.
In fact, 65% of the survey's respondents said they believed that mobile, online and offline channels all have a role to play in the future of marketing, mainly due to the importance of being able to ensure that brands are reaching consumers at all stages of their purchasing journey. A further 15% said that offline still had a lot to offer, and that they would continue to invest heavily in it.
Despite this vote of confidence that offline still has a role to play in marketing, the respondents were split when asked if they would invest more in mobile rather than online and offline channels. According to Gary Bicker, UK manager for Affilinet, "While online and offline remain important, in the future the indication is that spend will increasingly be diverted to mobile. Mobile is great because it's everywhere, but people operate in their own little mobile worlds and breaking into that can be tough as the small screen doesn't allow for creating an emotional connection in the same ways that other channels can."
The survey found that, while marketers intend to immerse themselves in mobile, there is still some way for organisations to go before they reach that goal. Two thirds said they have yet to optimise their website for mobile browsing, and 62% of those respondents said they would not do so for another 3-6 months, while 31% were expecting to go live with a website optimised for mobile browsing within the next 3 months, and 7% within the next 12 months.
Of those that have engineered their website for the mobile world, 71% have tagged it so that they can analyse mobile traffic and generate transparency into what channels are driving customers to their site. The research found, however, that mobile strategies don't yet extend as far as to include mobile apps, as 85% of those asked did not have a mobile app strategy in place.
"It took a long time for companies to invest in being able to understand where and how traffic was being directed to their website, so it's really encouraging to see that as brands move into mobile, they've learned this lesson and are applying it," Bicker concluded. "I am surprised, though, to find that so few have a mobile app strategy in place yet. The app ecosystem is set to be increasingly important not just for user engagement but also for revenue generation. Choosing the right strategy now is vital to keeping pace with the customer."