Is Mobile a Necessary Part of Your Media Mix?

This is a question that most marketers have been asking themselves over the past 18 months.  For the most part, everyone believes that eventually it will be a part of their marketing program.  It ends up being a question of when it will be a part of my marketing mix and how much. 

The answer: It depends.  Eventually, everyone will need to have mobile as an essential part of their media mix, but today, I don’t think that is the case for many people.  We all know the statistics about mobile media.  74% of the world’s population will have smart phones by 2014.  2011 is the tipping point for smart phones vs. feature phones.  It seems that it would be a no-brainer to start investing in mobile websites and applications as part of your media mix.  In many cases, that is the right decision.  However, mobile is still developing and response rates are not right for every industry. 

If you are a B2C company, you should be investing in mobile strategies today.  Consumer usage of mobile platforms are growing exponentially.  Companies are even grabbing market share through well thought out mobile deployments because their competition is not there yet.  However, be aware, while statistics for purchases made through the mobile platform are growing, but the overall adoption rate is still relatively small. 

If you are marketing to the Millenials and you are not on mobile, then you are missing the boat.  69% of Millenials use their cell phone as their main entertainment device.  The mobile smart phone is quickly becoming the preferred platform for accessing information and interacting with social media sites.

If you are a B2B company, the jury is still out on the ROI of a mobile strategy.  In certain applications, it has a tremendous response rates, but it all depends on the application.  There are people who help companies with mobile deployment strategies such as The Strathmore Company, but most companies just don’t understand the mobile platform enough to make informed marketing decisions.   

In the end, it’s not the size of the tool that matters, but rather how you use it.  The mobile platform is still just a tool.  We can’t look at it as the Field of Dreams of marketing.  (If you build it, they will come.)  Every tool has different strengths and therefore different inherent uses.  While mobile is new, cool and exciting, you just need to look at YOUR goals and see if it makes sense for YOU.

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