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U.S. Mobile Advertising Fails to Gain Momentum


The next upside for advertising in America was supposed to be a new mass-market opportunity. Theoretically, mobile devices provide the most personal and direct ways for marketers to reach consumers with Ads. eMarketer estimates nearly 80 percent of the U.S. population has a mobile phone as of 2010.

And yet, most U.S. marketers are slow to take advantage of the opportunity.

According to an April 2010 survey by eROI, less than a third of U.S. marketers think optimizing the mobile marketing experience is important to their customers. Almost as many are unsure and nearly a quarter are "testing" the value of mobile optimization.

Despite the number of marketers testing mobile, apparently they're not serious tests. In fact, 63 percent of marketers told eROI they were not measuring how many of their email subscribers were viewing messages on mobile devices. And, mobile-optimized messages were sent by only 25 percent of respondents.

Usage of marketer websites via mobile was even more likely to be ignored -- just 23 percent of U.S. marketers reported having a mobile-optimized website. The vast majority of those sites were limited versions of the full company website.

Other studies have also showed slow uptake of mobile optimization by U.S. companies. Multichannel Merchant found in February 2010 that nearly 80 percent of U.S. multichannel retailers had no m-commerce capabilities, for example.

While many companies are still not using the channel strategically, a majority of marketers are now incorporating social media tactics into their marketing mix. eROI reported that nearly three-quarters of marketers believe that social media was having a positive effect on their efforts.

About two-thirds of respondents said they were integrating social media into email campaigns -- compared with the 25 percent who were integrated mobile into email marketing by offering mobile-optimized messages.

Clearly, the U.S. market still has a long way to go to reach the potential already attained in the Asia-Pac and European mobile device markets.

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