Mobile marketing industry to reach $50B by 2014: Study

Brands that get into mobile in the next year will become a catalyst for mass-consumer adoption of mobile marketing and commerce, according to a study by Mind Commerce.

The study shows that the world market for mobile marketing and advertising is projected to reach $50 billion by 2014, up from $29 billion currently, representing an annual growth rate of 12 percent. With the rapid maturation of this market, brand managers will have quite a bit to celebrate as this gold-mine marketing channel fully emerges.

"Marketers who set the trends will enable their customers to adopt new means of consuming their goods and pave the way for others with a ?wait and see' attitude to play catch up," said Fred Taylor, research director at Mind Commerce.

"Testing the mobile waters today is the best strategy for brand managers who have been reluctant so far to take the wireless advertising and marketing plunge," he said.

The study from Mind Commerce outlines several key steps to planning a mobile marketing or advertising campaign, strongly recommending that marketers integrate mobile into a multichannel, cross-media marketing strategy.

This way, brands can build upon the foundation that has already been laid out on other platforms such as television, online, print and radio.

The first recommendation from Mind Commerce is to customize the consumer experience.

With mobile, marketers have the opportunity to speak to consumers one-on-one with relevant content at a specified time.

"Marketers should ensure that their mobile campaigns target consumers with precise messaging that caters to individual needs rather than mass appeal," Mr. Taylor said.

"Astute marketers will capitalize on that capability by ensuring text-based campaigns incorporate messages that compel recipients to take action -- such as clicking through to a Web site, redeeming a coupon, or replying with their personal information," he said.

The study also suggested establishing realistic measurement plans.

According to the study, performance-based metrics should include click-throughs to Web sites, response rates and return on investment, to name a few.

However, Mind Commerce also encourages including deeper analytics such as the impact of mobile on brand equity, A/B message testing (pre-campaign message trials targeting various demographics and regions) and even shop-to-buy conversion ratios via mobile commerce.

While mobile search campaigns have huge potential for the future, direct response campaigns are a brand's best bet in engaging today's varied consumer demographics.

"Mobile search campaigns, especially localized search, as this report has shown, will be the future breadwinner for wireless marketing campaigns," Mr. Taylor said. "Now is the time to test the ?keywords' that optimize return on search-based marketing initiatives.

"[Marketers should] explore the benefits of coupling mobile search terms with mapping functionality, directory listings, and banner display ads that appear in search results," he said.

"While Google and Yahoo afford the best venues for mobile search and lead generation opportunities, do not ignore the niche local search players, such as Whitepages.com, as possible mobile marketing channels."

Another important tactic for mobile marketing and advertising is to ensure that the brand-awareness messaging is consistent across all media, including mobile.

The challenge lies in creating messaging that works on a big screen such as a TV or computer but that is also easily identifiable on a small handset.

Mind Commerce recommends developing a direct response campaign with a strong, coherent message.

The final piece of advice from Mind Commerce's Mobile Marketing and Advertising 2009 study is to follow the trends in the mobile space related to marketing, advertising and technology.

"Marketers should keep abreast of changes in handheld technology that will effectuate more sophisticated mobile-based branding opportunities, including larger screens, faster attachment
downloads, richer and sharper video streaming, and GPS mapping capabilities," Mr. Taylor said.

"Mind Commerce expects consumer adoption of these improved handhelds to increase rapidly by late 2009 and marketers who stay ahead of these and other related technology trends would reap the benefits of greater campaign returns," he said.