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Start Acting Totally Savvy. That’s our mantra here at the Mobile Marketing Stats. In this, another installment, we’re going to dissect Marketers’ Budgets Up, But Cite Inability to Leverage Data, which reveals the importance of approaching mobile as a data strategy rather than a channel strategy.

As always with the Mobile Marketing Stats, please post other interesting data or any questions to the comments.

Rapid Marketing Budget Growth 

Amazing when you read it, but pretty straight forward when you think about it: 93% of marketers plan to increase or maintain marketing budgets for the year. This figure is up from 89% in 2013. In not-shocking news, email, social, search, display and mobile top the list of areas for increased spending in 2014.

Digital Continues To Replace Traditional

No marketer is taking money out of email, social and mobile. Only 2% of marketers plan to decrease budget allocation to these channels. Looks like most of the capital spent on email, mobile and social is coming out of print and direct mail budgets, which look to decline by 32% and 21%, respectively.

Data Is The Biggest Opportunity In Digital Marketing

40% of marketers find accessing and leveraging customer data to be their biggest challenge (aka biggest opportunity for software providers). Other big a.achallenges found by marketers include lack of resources (36%) and developing relevant engagements (32%).

Turns out, however, that “relevant engagement” is in fact a data challenge. So, in essence 76% of marketers want to use data better in 2014.

Marketers Need To Be Data Smart When Acquiring Customers 

44% of marketers have a goal to improve engagement, 36% to improve segmentation and targeting and 31% to grow opt-in lists. Now, smart marketers know that improving engagement comes down to effective segmentation and targeting. They also know that capturing segmentation data remains a crucial part of the opt-in process. So, as you are building your acquisition programs in 2014, be sure that you are aware of all the data capturing tactics available to you from day one. This will create a mobile marketing campaign that maximizes (rather than touching on) customer lifetime value.

Cross-channel remains a high priority

As you know, companies have to start moving to a cross-channel marketing strategy. In 2014, 59% of marketers plan to integrate email with social, 55% with mobile and 23% with display. These numbers will only continue to increase over time. So, if you don’t have a cross-channel strategy in place, start seeking out providers who can help.

Starting Points For Developing a Data Strategy

Interestingly, survey respondents revealed some of their struggles with data. The top culprits for limited data access included (1) web behavior (34%), (2) shopping behavior (25%), (3) customer sentiment (23%), (4) demographics (53%), (5) purchase history (49%) and (6) web behavioral data (31%).

Off the top of my head, here’s a good starting point to address each:

  1. Distribute personalized links to customers via mobile and email (see Web Tracker) to track individual web behavior.
  2. Integrate with the point of sale (See Vouchers), especially for coupon campaigns.
  3. Tag subscribers with information related to their activity, for example the day/time they sign up and their message open rate, and then map that information against aggregate data such as zip code or carrier.
  4. See above, but nail your acquisition process to capture as much data as possible.
  5. Again, integrate with the point of sale. Or at least distribute unique codes to campaign participants (even if they don’t make a purchase).
  6. See above, but track individual web activity using personalized links.

Focus on The Social Network That Makes The Most Sense For Your Brand

So, it’s not a surprise that 81% of marketers feel that Facebook is one of their three most valuable social channels. Twitter (67%), YouTube (48%) and LinkedIn (44%) also possess a large mindshare for marketers.

More interesting is that 85% of respondents feel that Pinterest is valuable, though only 13% have it in their top 3. What this says to me is that Pinterest makes perfect sense for some brands – jewelry and apparel come to mind as being ideal. However, B2B software on Pinterest? Probably shouldn’t be our number one priority.

With social, focus on finding value with channels that make sense. Develop a process that works. Then expand to others. It is my belief that doing fewer channels well generates way more ROI than doing tons of channels OK. Social requires a constant presence, and should be treated accordingly.

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