CMOs Are Missing Out on Mobile Marketing Opportunities

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CMOs may say they adding mobility into their digital marketing mix, but many haven't even defined objectives yet. What should CMOs be doing and how can CIOs help?

Hey CMOs, how goes your mobile marketing efforts? Probably not well. Marketers struggle to define mobile objectives and manage their mobile performance, says Forrester. CIOs better listen up, too. You can help CMOs deliver on this missed mobile marketing opportunity.

It's a big opportunity to drive revenue, as well as a chance to improve the CIO-CMO relationship.

CMOs might claim they're adding mobility into their digital marketing mix, but a good chunk of them -- 29 percent -- are still experimenting with mobile measurement techniques. Many marketers haven't even defined objectives yet. Few use emerging tools to track and analyze mobile user activity across channels.

"Fifty-seven percent of marketers we surveyed do not have defined mobile objectives," writes Forrester analyst Thomas Husson in a blog post.

That's a lot of digital marketing opportunity falling by the wayside. There's no question CMOs need to get out in front of mobility, but how?

[Related: Inside the Secret Clash of CIOs and CMOs ]

Forrester has a multi-step plan to measure mobile marketing efforts. It starts, of course, with measuring traffic coming from mobile devices; a fifth of all Web traffic flows through mobile devices, according to Forrester. ESPN reported that more than half of its traffic comes from mobile devices on peak days.

When tracking mobile traffic, keep in mind that smartphones and tablets shouldn't be lumped together. Marketers will need to know the tablet traffic separately when they begin crafting a tablet strategy. Also, identifying the types of devices will help marketers concentrate their native-app development investment.

Most marketers think traffic means pageviews, but they need to go beyond this. They need to look at and go after actions performed by the mobile user, not track static pageviews. A German car manufacturer, for instance, monitors how many people request a test drive, as well as the conversion rate from test driver to car owner. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than pageviews.

The Forrester report advises: "Marketers must define precisely what actions they would like their users to take instead of looking for traditional audience objectives. When it comes to increasing engagement via a mobile app, it is likely you want your customers to take specific actions like posting a photo, liking content, or requesting information."

[Related: CIOs and CMOs Suffer From Failure to Communicate ]

Measuring mobile traffic is merely the beginning.

Marketers need to understand how mobile users are navigating the app, in order to improve the user experience. They need to identify publishers and ad networks that drive qualified traffic, in order to get the most out of their mobile marketing spend. They need real-time analytics to segment mobile customers, in order to target certain customers during critical moments, such as when they enter a geofence.

Most importantly, marketers need a CIO's help to integrate mobile analytics with other marketing initiatives, in order to create a true cross-channel digital marketing strategy.

[ Related: 6 Mobile Marketing Trends to Leverage in 2014 ]

Mobile marketing is a relatively new field, and marketers must learn lessons from measurement and analytics and evolve their mobile marketing plans. Changes will have to be made, perhaps even pivoting to a different mobile outcome. The mobile analytics landscape is expanding at an incredible rate, and so choosing partners and vendors among the many new entrants is a Herculean task for today's digital marketer.

"The most successful marketers take the insights they gain from measuring their programs and roll them into new iterations, programs, and strategies," Forrester says.

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