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Aberdeen Group Research on Mobile Marketing

25% of Best-in-Class companies (up from 17% less than a year earlier) say mobile marketing now accounts for at least 10% of their overall marketing budget.

That’s one of the many facts in a new report by Aberdeen Group [1], Boston, which looked at 200 companies engaged in mobile marketing in June and July/09. The study noted that while many see marketing via mobile screens as an intimate, yet ubiquitous, way of reaching customers on the go in a relevant, engaging and profitable manner, some companies do it better than others.

The Aberdeen Group looked at what works and what doesn’t, finding that Best-in-Class companies generally fare above average in mobile marketing and much better than what Aberdeen Group labels the ‘Laggards’.

Designated as Best-in-Class companies – the top 20% of those surveyed – were those who have 100% year over year performance in customer profitability; 87% improved year over year customer retention rates; and 82% decreased year over year customer acquisition costs.

The study found that, to achieve Best-in-Class performance, companies should target audiences by behavioral data rather than phone type; ensure that target audiences have handsets that support the technology and applications needed; ensure that the campaign is compatible across carriers and networks; and insert short codes on billboards or other media to enable location-based messaging and precision marketing effectiveness.

Among the many facts regarding Best-in-Class companies released in the study,

Nearly 73% of all respondents saw the biggest catalyst for mobile marketing adoption is the improved functionality and usability of mobile phones – especially the smart phones with large screens, full functional keyboards & advanced video display capabilites. Another key factor is 3G wireless services with high data speed and always-on data access.

The report noted that Best-in-Class companies take such strategic actions as:

Many companies have moved beyond text messages, now involving video, coupon requests, and promotions. Also helping evolvement of the sector is the Best-in-Class companies’ use of best practices, with processes for development, management & enhancement of campaigns.

A centralized data repository enables companies to enhance customer profiles, based not only on geo-demographic data but also on behavioral & attitudinal data, and to marry the mobile marketing data with transactional, CRM, and other data.

The report found that 29% of Best-in-Class companies use Bluetooth, allowing consumers to download applications, wallpaper, ringtones, and games; that 25% use location-based services, delivering relevant messages depending on the geographic location of the subscriber; and nearly 65% have data mining and analytics solution in place for deriving actionable insights from consumer data.

Among the steps to success in mobile marketing found with the report are:

5th Finger [2], a San-Francisco-based mobile agency, and iLoop Media [3], a San Jose company offering mobile solutions & services for interactive mobile marketing and mobile content distribution, helped finance Aberdeen’s study.