Mobile apps to be essential in 2013

By Ryan Bonnici, Head of Marketing APAC, ExactTarget

APPS

These days, nearly everyone I know owns a smartphone. People (myself included) are switched on 24/7, accessing email, social media and other online content anytime, anywhere. Marketers are finally catching on to this trend worldwide and are starting to target mobile devices in their planning. According to reports, marketers will be dedicating up to half of their marketing budget to digital activities in 2013. How incredible is that – and for a channel that wasn’t even on most marketers’ radar 5 years ago.

Mobile growth

With the proliferation of smartphones, mobile presents great opportunity for marketers to connect with consumers. In fact 74 per cent of marketers say mobile applications are the area of greatest focus for their marketing activities in 2013. In order to drive continual engagement in app, marketers need to ensure they’re properly leveraging the channel by integrating push messaging into their email, social and SMS campaigns.

While marketers have used SMS and QR codes for a while now,  2013 is set to see mobile marketing explode into other channels, as 68 per cent of marketers plan to use mobile-optimised email and mobile advertisements as part of their mobile marketing strategy. While email remains an effective way to communication with consumers, optimising for mobile makes it easier for the always addressable customer to access it.

I was not surprised to learn that email was the channel of choice when it came to the most effective online marketing tool. Nor was I surprised to see Social Media and SEO come in as equal number 2 – both with 77 per cent of marketers using these mediums. Marketers are starting to use a mix of channels available with 93 per cent of marketers saying they will develop more cross-channel marketing approaches during 2013.

Digital growth

According to the State of Digital Marketing, nearly 70 per cent of companies plan to increase their digital budgets in 2013. Furthermore, 80 per cent of Australian marketers say that digital now accounts for up to half of their marketing budget –incredible! The shift from offline to online is evidence of a move away from reactive strategies and proof that marketers are planning to integrate proactive digital strategies into their campaigns this year (more than two thirds).

Measurement

Marketers are beginning to invest in the development of analytics and metrics to utilise online channels that build relationships and yield a high return on investment. In fact, 94 per cent of marketers expect their digital marketing activity to be more measurable during 2013.

Over half of marketers say they will increase investment in their analytics tools and will utilise customer satisfaction metrics and Net Promoter Scoring. Yet, amazingly only 42 per cent of marketers are actually incorporating return on marketing investment into their metrics at this point!

Australian marketers are definitely keeping up with the mobile revolution and I sincerely hope it continues.  Marketers who do not execute timely, relevant mobile campaigns integrated with email and social risk losing relevance.

   Ryan Bonnici is the Head of Marketing APAC, ExactTarget

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