It's pretty easy to see how pervasive the use of mobile devices has become with consumers. People are tethered to their smartphones just about everywhere - at work, at home, at ballgames, shopping malls, airports, and cafes. As of January 2014, consumers now spend more time on their mobile devices for Internet usage than on desktop PCs, according to comScore. Yet despite how "mobile" we've become as consumers, many companies continue to struggle to develop comprehensive mobile marketing strategies or to integrate mobile into their digital marketing plans. For instance, according to the 2015 State of Marketing study conducted by Salesforce which canvassed more than 5,000 global marketers, mobile marketing is just the fifth fast growing area where marketing spending will increase this year, behind social media advertising, marketing, and engagement.
I recently discussed the reasons for this disconnect with Erich Joachimsthaler, CEO at Vivaldi Partners Group. As Joachimsthaler sees it, there are different perspectives about mobile marketing at different levels of the organization that aren't in alignment with each other.
For instance, Joachimsthaler shared a story about the CEO of a beer company as an example of the CEO view of mobile marketing that he's seeing. The beer company CEO told Joachimsthaler that most of the company's advertising dollars are devoted to TV. The CEO also asked whether the company should be redirecting more of its advertising and marketing spending to mobile since that's where consumers now spend most of their time.
Nevertheless, some CMOs might assign someone in the marketing organization to be in charge of mobile marketing but only allocate a small portion of the marketing budget to it. "The CMO's heart is still in the old school of media and he doesn't want to rock the boat, it's too much work. They pay lip service to it," says Joachimsthaler.
Meanwhile, many marketing managers who are mobile-savvy can see the potential for mobile marketing but they can't convince the CMO to increase spending there, adds Joachimsthaler.
To be sure, digital advertising is growing faster than traditional TV advertising and is inching closer in total spending, according to The CMO Council. As far as mobile marketing is concerned, perhaps it's finally about to erupt.
"Someone once said to me that things tend to happen gradually and then suddenly," says Joachimsthaler. "I think that's what's happening here."