Mobile marketing is a smart investment, delivering higher return-on-investment (ROI) than traditional marketing programs, according to a recent survey commissioned by SoundBite Communications Inc.

The company asked Luth Research to explore trends, issues and the future direction of mobile marketing by surveying key marketing executives at companies ranging from $100 million to more than $1 billion in annual revenues.

When asked about mobile marketing ROI compared to traditional initiatives, 52 percent of mobile marketers stated mobile returns were higher, while only 15 percent stated their returns were lower. For those reporting results, the average ROI was 32 percent. As a result, nearly three-quarters of marketers are increasing mobile marketing budgets? and/or shifting budget to mobile from other marketing programs by an average of more than 20 percent.??

The marketing thought leaders surveyed identified three major benefits of mobile marketing:??

>> It’s quantifiable. Mobile marketing provides measurable increases in revenue and purchase frequency.?
>> It’s personalized. It enables more targeted, relevant programs — driving higher response rates.
>> It’s immediate. The ubiquity of mobile leads to more timely offers and better results.??

According to the survey, adoption of mobile marketing by major brands will approach 100 percent by 2013 due to initial mobile communication programs and trials. With the? majority of mobile consumers now owning smartphones, mobile has become the ultimate convergent device with SMS, voice, email and Web.??

"Consumers’ rapid smartphone adoption is an absolute game-changer," says Mark Friedman, executive vice president for SoundBite’s Mobile Services Business Unit. "This survey proves that those that invest in growing and managing mobile marketing databases in an intelligent and compliant manner have a tremendous opportunity to reap the rewards with high ROI marketing programs."??

Despite this success, SoundBite says marketers continue to express concerns about technology constraints, access to mobile marketing expertise and consumer consent issues, including:

>> Building internal expertise on using mobile as a marketing channel,
>> Building and managing large opt-in databases and properly communicating with consumers,?
>> Identifying technology solutions and? 
>> Combating mobile perception and consumer receptivity challenges.?

"With mobile marketing budgets and consumer adoption increasing, it’s time for companies to align the mobile channel to every phase of the customer lifecycle," adds Roseanne Luth, president at Luth Research. "The touch points provided by mobile marketing are critical in customer acquisition, retention, engagement and care. Building a?companywide mobile strategy is vital, and aligning with the right partners to execute that strategy is the key to long-term success."?

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