The State of Mobile ROI

Mobile still doesn’t measure up as “important” to most marketers, according to an April 2011 survey by King Fish Media sponsored by HubSpot, Junta42 and Maxymiser. But that could change as more marketers get on board with a mobile strategy. More than six in 10 North American marketers plan to have one within the next year, compared with just a third who already do.

When asked specifically about the ROI of their mobile advertising programs, a plurality of North American companies said they were doing about as well as expected. A quarter of respondents said mobile advertising wasn’t meeting expectations, however, compared to just 13% who said results were better than they had hoped.

ROI of Advertising on Mobile Platforms According to Companies in North America, April 2011 (% of respondents)

Another 27% of companies were not sure how mobile advertising measured up, either because they were not keeping track or for another reason.

The survey also asked companies about their overall mobile marketing campaigns, beyond only advertising. Mobile marketing was still slightly more likely to underperform (10%) than to outperform expectations (8%) among companies that currently have or plan to have a mobile marketing strategy. But here, companies were doing even less measurement of their campaigns.

ROI of Existing Mobile Marketing Campaigns According to Companies in North America, April 2011 (% of respondents)

Just over one in three companies with a mobile strategy said they hadn’t measured its success, and nearly as many could not evaluate performance for some other reason.

At the same time, the report noted that ROI was becoming more important for mobile marketers looking to increase or maintain budget. Two in five marketers with a mobile strategy will have to prove the value of their campaigns in order to continue them, though about a third will continue to track ROI without requiring it to be positive.

Mobile still commands a fairly small share of marketers’ budgets, but eMarketer estimates total mobile advertising spending in the US will reach $1.1 billion this year, up 48% over 2010.

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