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Companies focus on mobile and social media, but struggle with measurement

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The growth of the mobile channel fuelled by smartphones and tablets is the single most important trend affecting digital marketers, according to a new report by Econsultancy and Adobe. The first Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing, based on a survey of 900 businesses, identifies a range of marketing trends and looks at the impact they are having on businesses.

More than three-quarters (79%) of companies taking part in the global Econsultancy survey said the proliferation of devices such as smartphones and tablets was significant for their organisations, including 38% who said it was “highly significant”.

But the research also found that many companies are not yet measuring the mobile channel effectively. Almost two thirds of respondents said they believed it was important to measure the value of traffic from mobile devices (65%) and differences in behaviour between mobile and other visitors (63%). However, less than a quarter of companies are measuring these areas (24% and 21% respectively).

Econsultancy Research Director Linus Gregoriadis said: “Consumers are embracing the mobile channel but companies are lagging behind when it comes to effective measurement. Engagement through mobile devices can provide a wealth of important intelligence which many companies are ignoring.”

The report also looks at the importance of “earned media” from social media marketing, which 34% of companies regard as a highly significant trend. As with the mobile channel, the report found that most companies are failing to measure the value of traffic from social media even though the vast majority of respondents regard this as an important metric.

Neil Morgan, Senior Director, EMEA Marketing, Adobe, says: “It is encouraging to see how the vast majority of companies recognise the importance of engaging appropriately with social media and the opportunities for marketing themselves through social channels.

“The disparity between the importance attached to the social space, and the actual measurement of it suggests that companies are still getting comfortable with their social strategies and working out ways of defining success.”

Two versions of the first Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing are available, showing separate data for Europe and North America survey respondents.

Looking specifically at Europe, the study finds that 36% of European businesses surveyed said the proliferation of devices (including smartphones and tablets) was highly significant, while 42% said this was quite significant.

60% of businesses said that measuring value of traffic from mobile devices is important, while 62% said differences in behaviour between mobile and other visitors was important to measure. The proportion of European companies measuring these areas is 23% and 20% respectively.

More than 30% of European businesses say that social media marketing (earned media) is a highly significant trend, while a further 53% say it is quite significant.

The social media metrics most widely regarded as important are brand sentiment (65%) and value of traffic from social media (71%). Only 25% of European businesses are measuring brand sentiment, while even fewer (17%) are measuring value of traffic from social channels.

The full report can be downloaded here

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