Marketers Are Confident About Increasing Mobile Ad Spending, Though ROI Remains Uncertain 

But many in the industry still need to deepen their understanding of mobile ROI, the American Marketing Association finds.

Heading into the latter half of 2016, marketers are confident about the digital future: 53 percent believe their businesses will grow in revenue over the next few years. And growth in VR, social media marketing, and IoT are key drivers that will increase customer interaction and loyalty in the coming year, according to a survey from the American Marketing Association (AMA) and Millward Brown Vermeer.

That said, the report finds that only 22 percent of respondents have insight into the true ROI of their key marketing programs.

“There is a continued knowledge gap that exists in the marketing community in terms of the digital transformation of an organization and the marketing therein,” said Russ Klein, CEO of the AMA. “The companion thought to that is that marketers really also feel that there’s not the organizational empathy from senior leadership in terms of appreciating the value of digital technologies and what is needed — both in terms of investment and training — so that marketers can add [all the] value to an enterprise that they’re capable of.”

Context Is Everything

Closing this gap between excitement about digital marketing tactics and actual understanding of engagement strategies and ROI is, of course, a matter of education. And per Klein, truly embracing and becoming “native” with mobile marketing is a top priority.

“People wake up, reflexively check their smartphone. The eyeballs are there,” Klein said. “[Marketers] need to make the necessary investments, create the training so that the marketing team can develop engagement strategies to follow that consumer into that channel.”

One key for marketers looking to craft relevant mobile messages? Location. It’s not breaking news that location searches and location-targeted ads have a proven link to in-store sales, but it certainly bears repeating for marketers still confused about applications of the technology.

“I get on a soap box a lot about the holy grail for a marketer is context, and by context, I simply mean that by knowing someone’s circumstances in real time,” Klein concluded. When location provides context by delivering a clearer picture of a consumers’ environment and circumstances, “a brand can do more [with that] than with all of the profile data in the world. What mobile — and wearables, to a lesser but growing extent — represent is the ability to unlock or create visibility into the customer context in real time.”

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.