Mobile Marketing In Europe

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

While they like the idea of it, few European marketers are using mobile marketing, and those that are, have dedicated relatively small budgets to the sector.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Forrester Research Inc. has just released a report on the State Of Mobile Marketing In Europe, 2011, the results of a survey of 264 interactive marketers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy that looks at how marketers in Europe are approaching mobile, whether it’s part of their overall marketing strategy, who is using it and how.

According to the study, less than half of European interactive marketers are already using mobile, and too many marketers who have tested mobile have focused on the wrong tactics, preferring to build mobile apps – seen as ‘cool’ but that most of their audiences simply ignore – while failing to tap into the mobile web browsing that’s much more popular among European consumers.

Across Europe, a total of 40% of marketers are using mobile marketing and another 28% say that they plan to start in the next 12 months. But there is great variation among the countries with Italians at 67% the most aggressive adopters of mobile marketing and U.K. marketers the slowest with just 28% currently using it.

To quote the report: ‘More than one-third of European marketers who plan to use mobile in 2011 will spend less than $250,000 (approximately €175,000) on mobile marketing, and most will spend less than $500,000 (€350,000).’

While 38% of European mobile marketers are creating branded mobile applications, for the most part, consumers don’t care, with only 7% of European consumers say they regularly download mobile apps.

In fact, Europeans are two-and-a-half times more likely to browse the mobile Web as to download mobile applications. In the past 12 months, the number of consumers browsing the mobile Web has doubled in the UK, Germany, and France, the report notes.

Just 19% of interactive marketers buy mobile display advertising, making it the least-used mobile marketing channel.

So what is popular? SMS: 74% of Europeans send and receive messages monthly, so 40% of mobile marketers use SMS and MMS marketing.

The report recommends that, if you’re taking the plunge into mobile marketing, don’t limit your audience further by focusing on ‘hot’ tools that few people actually use. Instead, put more focus on mobile websites and less focus on mobile apps. And keep in mind that, while most Europeans receive SMS and MMS messages, they don’t want to receive marketing messages via SMS.

The report has much more material, with specifics on the different countries, along with graphs and recommendations. The complete State Of Mobile Marketing In Europe, 2011, is available from Forrester for US$499.

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