Mobile Marketing

Are Aussie Marketers Scared of Mobile?

According to a recent article on AdNews News Corp says advertisers are not being brave enough when it comes to mobile marketing.  This contrasts with the recent report from IAB Australia who told us that Australian marketers are the most confident worldwide about their ability to deliver digital marketing activity.

The Global Digital Knowledge Survey 2014 found that 36% of Australian marketers are completely confident delivering digital marketing activity.  We are also the most motivated to learn more, with 80% of Australian respondents very motivated to learn.

This may be just as well, with the IAB report finding that 69% of marketers are aware of a digital skills gap in the area of Mobile Marketing.  Although we are more confident that our UK counterparts, the report highlighted  an interesting discrepancy between mobile ad spend and confidence between the two countries.  UK marketers are less confident but spend more, whereas Australian marketers feel confident but spend less.  Perhaps we could take a lesson from the bravado of our less experienced but braver UK counterparts!

IAB Mobile Confidence Slide

So where do Australia’s marketers need to invest their courage?  Big brands like Virgin Mobile, Bauer and NewsLifeMedia see the biggest opportunities in shareable content, location targeting and a mobile first strategy.  These and many other prominent household brands are refocusing their digital strategy to place increasing emphasis on smartphones and tablets as the primary device of their customers.  In fact Virgin and NewsLifeMedia have both recently stated that they are operating on the increasingly popular mobile first principle.

Prioritising your customers’ favourite and most commonly used devices at the outset of marketing strategy development makes sense.  Any local brand still isolating smartphone and tablet users to a gimmicky afterthought and a few percent of marketing budget, is going to be left talking to an empty room. A recent study by Nielsen and Google found that 77% of mobile searches are performed at work or home – where a PC is also likely to have been available.  Smartphone and tablet users are choosing their personal device, even when a desktop is right there in the room.

But it’s clear that we still have a way to go before the principle sinks in.  Although this is not a local study, a report from the MMA found most marketers (78%) still allocate less than 10% of marketing budgets to mobile.   Last year Frost and Sullivan found that 50% of Australian businesses intend to increase their mobile advertising budget substantially in the next year.  According to the latest IAB/PwC data, we may actually be seeing that change take place here in Australia.  In the first quarter of 2014 mobile reached 15% of all Ad Spend in Australia and 21.5% of general display investment.

With 62% of online Australians now using the internet via their mobile device and mobile making up only 15.3% of ad spend, advertising investment still has some catching up to do.  But we seem to be on the right track.  Even if Australian marketers still feel a little under-skilled, it looks like we’re making up for it with some good old fashioned Aussie courage.  Like a badge I saw last week at a political rally that said ‘If you don’t fight, you lose’  it looks like Australian advertisers are putting up a good fight, and have no intention of losing touch with their audience.

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