Mobile Hasn’t Yet Found Its Place in the Local Marketing Mix

CMOCouncil-Channel-Importance-to-Local-Marketing-Success-Feb2013Senior marketers are lukewarm about mobile’s importance to their local marketing agendas, according to [download page] results from a new study by the CMO Council. Asked how mobile will impact their local marketing mix in the year to come, a plurality 33% said they are still investigating the opportunity in mobile. Separately, just 6% rated mobile as important to the success of their local marketing strategies.

Still, mobile ought to become more important this year. More than 1 in 10 respondents said they’re increasing their investment into mobile application development with significant local connections (13%) and that mobile will more directly connect their global and local campaigns (12%). Another 10% believe that mobile will become as important as search and social as drivers to local experiences.

Mobile still has a ways to go, though. It’s at the bottom of the list of advertising channels ranked by importance to the success of local marketing strategies, far behind leaders live events (47%), email (34%), and SEO (28%), and trailing less important channels such as outdoor, local newspapers, and radio (each at 11%).

Mobile advertising also ranks towards the bottom of the list of key advertising touchpoints that are part of marketers’ local engagement strategy. While a majority use their website (86%), email (72%), events (66%), online ads (57%), and social media ads (57%), only 31% use mobile advertising, which is on par with the proportion using telemarketing or call centers.

Mobile might find more of a home in the marketer local toolbox as a result of a general shift towards more digital marketing activities. 27% of respondents said they have increased their digital advertising investments over the past 12 months, while 6% have cut back on traditional advertising such as TV, radio, and print. That same dynamic has been seen by BIA/Kelsey, which recently forecast all the growth in local media ad spending coming on the digital side. That forecast also calls for much more rapid growth in mobile local advertising than the CMO Council study seems to suggest. According to BIA/Kelsey, local mobile ad spending will more than quadruple between 2012 and 2016, and local will grow to achieve majority share of mobile ad revenues by next year.

About the Data: CMO Council’s online quantitative audit of 296 senior marketers was conducted between November 2012 and February 2013. 57% of respondents come from companies with more than $500 million in revenues. 41% are from B2B companies, 28% from B2C, and the remainder from hybrid organizations. The largest industry representations are IT (16%), financial services (11%), retail (9%), telecom (9%), and manufacturing (8%).