State of the Industry 2021: Mobile Marketing in EMEA is an annual report released recently by WARC, in association with MMA EMEA, that provides a current snapshot into how brands, agencies, media owners and tech vendors see the impact of mobile – its use as a tool for advertising effectively, as well as opportunities and concerns – as they adapt to changing consumer behaviours brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some of the findings include how the accelerative impact of Covid-19 on digital transformation has led to improvements in mobile marketing capabilities for advertisers. Growth in m-commerce and use of social media have provided brands with new opportunities to reach consumers, driving up mobile marketing budgets set to be worth $230bn globally in 2021 per WARC data. However, privacy concerns could hamper mobile’s growth potential.
The report is based on an online survey of 575 marketing professionals – a mix of client-side, agency, media owner and technology vendor marketers – carried out in April and May 2021 from over 30 markets.
The report highlights the following key insights:
1. The majority of marketing professionals are expecting growth in their mobile budgets this year. In the 2020 survey, two in five (39%) were expecting an increase in the mobile marketing budget. This year, two in three (66%) say the same, indicating more confidence in both market conditions and in mobile as a channel.
2. Social is by far the most used marketing channel with mobile. 87% of respondents are using social in their mobile marketing strategy and, on average, a third of the mobile budget goes toward social. YouTube and Facebook are the platforms most used for display marketing.
3. M-commerce is one of the most important industry changes during Covid-19. Overall, 68% of respondents are seeing increased m-commerce capabilities and two in five (42%) say uptake of m-commerce is one of the most important consumer behaviours.
4. Mobile marketing needs to overcome privacy concerns to realise growth potential. As we approach the end of the third party cookie as a means to target and measure, marketing professionals are facing more pressure. Three in five predict they will be affected by the ‘death’ of the cookie.
5. Video is catching up to non-video display as the leading form of mobile monetisation for media owners and tech enablers. Subscriptions/memberships and e-commerce are also key focus areas.
6. The future of mobile technology seeks to connect the online and offline, particularly through AI and machine learning, IoT and voice. Respondents are investing significant portions of their budgets into mobile technology to ensure they keep up with the latest innovations in the industry, especially as interest in AI continues.
Amy Rodgers, Managing Editor Research and Rankings, WARC said, ‘As we emerge from the pandemic, with many workforces still working remotely and social and m-commerce technologies rapidly developing, mobile will play an important part in marketing strategies, as indicated by the acceleration of mobile ad budgets and the opportunities provided to advertisers as outlined in this report.’
‘Whilst we have unsurprisingly seen an increase in mobile budgets across the region in the last year, we, at the MMA, have also taken a broader sounding on the future of marketing from marketers. One of their key insights is that digital transformations (which include mobile by definition) have accelerated significantly,’ commented Chris Babayode, MD, MMA EMEA. ‘Getting stuff done took weeks not months. This trend is all set to continue, and we expect this to feed through as per the findings in our annual report across social, m-commerce, organisational structures, data and privacy governance.’
A sample report is available to download here. The full report, now in its sixth year, is available to WARC subscribers and MMA members.