Why are B2B companies slow to embrace mobile marketing?

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With the explosive growth of mobile that has happened over the past several years, there are many new and existing markets to tap into for B2B marketers. Yet roughly half of B2B companies do not fully embrace mobile as a marketing outlet.

Regalix recently released a survey that showed just 51 percent of B2B senior marketers said their firms invest in mobile marketing.

About the study

Regalix said the study spoke to a number of both product and service-based B2Bs to “find out how extensively” how marketers were using mobile as a part of their strategies. The Palo Alto-based research firm also wanted to uncover what challenges marketers faced in fulfilling a solid marketing strategy.

Key findings included:

  • Two-thirds those surveyed said they had been using mobile marketing for under two years. (Note this is different that investing in mobile marketing)
  • Sixty-four percent said they integrated their mobile campaigns with other marketing initiatives.
  • Sixty-four percent also said their companies would increase their mobile marketing budgets over the next year.
  • Thirty-three percent of those surveyed said they collect customer mobile preferences and behavioral data.

Approximately half of the participants in the study were U.S.-based, the others surveyed came from across the globe.

Marketers agree mobile is important

It’s not that marketers do not think mobile is a worthwhile option, they do. A recent survey by Salesforce found many marketers recognize the importance of mobile and consider it to be a “crucial enabler” to their overall sales. Yet, that study found similar results as the Regalix study did, with just 53 percent of B2B marketers actually use mobile as a part of an overall marketing strategy.

If marketers see the potential of mobile and agree there could be powerful results, it’s easy to discern that there is so little investment in this marketing channel.

What is holding firms back from investing in mobile marketing?

Clearly statistics indicate mobile is considered to be important as society continues to interact in mobile spaces, but Komarketing points out B2B statistics that show 24 percent of U.S.  media time is spent on mobile, but just eight percent of advertising dollars are dedicated to mobile. Yet, marketers are dedicating 18 percent of advertising dollars to print advertising, while four percent of customer media time is spent there.

So why don’t more B2B marketers put a heavier effort into tackling mobile? Potential issues could include:

  • Comfort of the familiar. Technology grows so fast, much of it is uncharted territory. History has shown us that industries often stick with tried and tested business models, despite the rapid change going on around us.
  • With little effort given to mobile, there are limited results, as eMarketer points out. Without solid measurable results, marketers may lack the data they want (or need) to justify heavier spending on mobile.
  • Burden of shifting websites to becoming more mobile-friendly might be holding back some firms.

In Sept. 2014 an article on Forbes points out that even if websites are mobile-friendly, many of the other information materials, such as downloadable whitepapers and infographics, might not be in a responsive format on small mobile screens. Some companies may benefit from building user-friendly apps or finding other ways to deliver content in an easy to access format.

It’s important to also keep in mind Millennials are increasingly becoming the decision-makers. Most of them are using mobile to conduct their research. Additionally, professionals who have years of experience are far more comfortable with new technologies than they have been in the past. Many B2B executives said in a study done last year they primarily used mobile for research and purchases. 

Many experts seem to feel B2B marketers should invest a higher percentage of their budgets to mobile. This appears to be slated as a goal for next year as marketers say their firms will be funneling more of their budgets into mobile. Years ago companies that did not move to the Web fell behind the competition. Will those not investing in mobile suffer the same fate?

What is your B2B doing to invest in mobile? If you aren’t investing, what are your reasons for holding back?

Photo via Creative Commons, Flickr

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Leigh Goessl

Leigh Goessl

Leigh Goessl has been writing on the web since 2007. She currently is a freelance writer and enjoys writing about business and tech topics. Leigh's previous work includes ghost writing for a a legal website, a major online college and an education website. Her education includes an MBA with a concentration in information security.