KEO Marketing

Be in the Know.

Mobile Marketing: Actual Spending Falls Way Short of Ideal

Mobile Marketing SpendingWe’ve talked a lot about the importance of mobile marketing here recently, and by this point we think (or hope) most marketers have now realized that mobile will only continue to become a dominant factor for engaging and communicating with customers, generating leads and nurturing prospects. Understanding the impact of mobile is one thing, though. Acting upon that by developing a comprehensive mobile strategy and investing money and resources to enact that strategy is a totally different step, one that many businesses have been slow to take.

It should be easy to see the enormous potential of mobile marketing, and the value of investing in efforts in that realm. But just in case you still need a little more convincing, some recent statistics may do the trick. Mobile marketing spend could reach roughly $220 billion by decade’s end, with the U.S. portion of that accounting for $70 billion.

That’s according to a report just released by Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) titled, How Big is the Mobile Marketing Opportunity, which explores the mobile ad market opportunity for both marketers and mobile ad/media sellers. These calculations were based in the ROI of mobile strategies, and the rate at which mobile is rapidly dominating the marketing landscape over traditional, non-mobile channels.

The key word here is “could.” In other words, that’s the amount marketers could (and should) reasonably justify spending on mobile, given the huge growth and potential payoff in that area. The reality, however, seems to indicate that actual spending on mobile will fall far short of that benchmark. MMA’s research says that actual mobile spending right now is less than half of what it should be at optimal levels.

For those of us who have been paying attention, this shortfall in mobile investing is unfortunately not a big surprise. Mobile usage has exploded so suddenly that marketers in general have found it difficult to keep up. While consumers have rapidly embraced the mobile environment, businesses have scrambled to switch gears and transition to a mobile mindset. Many still don’t have a well-developed mobile strategy and haven’t developed effective tactics for reaching customers through this channel.

The silver lining is that this means lots of opportunity for those who were forward-thinking enough to embrace (and invest in) mobile from the start.

For those marketers who were quick to appreciate the significant ROI potential of mobile and have already enacted a mobile strategy or are in the process of developing one, their willingness to invest in this area will likely give them a valuable edge over competitors who are dragging their feet.

MMA refers to this as the “first mover advantage” and says it can prove to be extremely profitable. The MMA report says, “Agile marketers who see the opportunity, move first to embrace it, and act analytically and rationally to test, learn, and continually optimize their mobile execution will win. To the winners will come significant financial spoils at the expense of mobile laggards – and all by using same ad spend budgets, but for better results.”

Spelling this out in actual figures, MMA says optimizing mobile spend can result in a 2.6% net gain on impact generated from a campaign. In other words, just by optimizing on mobile in the media mix, marketing would be 2.6% more effective at driving sales.

Of course, most marketers face the challenge of trying to achieve the best results with a limited budget. That’s why it is so important to develop your strategy carefully, starting with the most cost-efficient tactics that will provide the greatest ROI. KEO Marketing has considerable experience in developing mobile marketing strategies that deliver results quickly (which as a bonus can help when trying to get buy-in from those in financial roles).


With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.