Integrating Mobile: Not the Future, but NOW!

December 19, 2011

By Barb Pellow & Bryan Yeager, InfoTrends

Mobile phones are the one electronic device that most of us carry at all times. Think about it – these devices are with their owners for more hours of the day than personal computers, netbooks, TV sets, magazines or radios. Our mobile phones will typically contain contact information and addresses. They enable multiple modes of communication, and many offer games, entertainment and other applications. Our mobile phones might be carried in a pocket or a purse, but they are ultimately by our side for the large majority of each day.

InfoTrends just released a new study entitled
Mobile Technology: Making Print Interactive. This research was conducted to determine the importance of combining print and mobile technology to activate, cultivate and engage customers. Consumers are being bombarded with a sea of marketing messages every day, and this study explored marketers’ intentions for creating integrated marketing campaigns that leverage the only two forms of portable media – print and mobile. This U.S.-based study surveyed more than 1,100 consumers that owned mobile phones, 300 marketing decision- makers and 80 print service providers to understand where they were on the mobile adoption curve. The results of this study clearly illustrate that it is time to understand mobile media and integrate mobile capabilities into your marketing services portfolio.

Consumers Are Ready!

First and foremost, consumer awareness of mobile tools and technology is high. Of the consumers surveyed, 84.6 percent were familiar with mobile codes. When examples were provided, 68.6 percent understood
mobile messaging services and 49.6 percent were familiar with augmented reality. While interaction with mobile technology lags behind familiarity, it is also on the rise. 24.2 percent of respondents who were familiar with mobile codes had scanned one. Additionally, 36.4 percent of those familiar with mobile messaging had opted in and 16.2 percent of those understanding augmented reality had used it.

While mobile technology is certainly taking hold, marketers still must stick to fundamentals. This is particularly the case for promotion – 1) good creative, 2) a strong call to action, 3) a great offer and 4) a response mechanism are all required to encourage interaction and engagement from consumers. The consumers that we surveyed were linking in with mobile marketers to take advantage of compelling offers (e.g., a coupon or deal, participation in/credits toward a loyalty program, access to additional product information, a sweepstakes entry, or actually making a purchase).

Marketers Are Ready!

While traditional media continues to play a strong role, marketers are acknowledging and voting with their dollars that mobile technology is part of the mix. The DMA Statistical Fact Book reports that mobile marketing spend will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.2 percent between 2010 and 2014.

Figure 1: Direct Marketing & Advertising Expenditures by Medium, 2010-2014 CAGRs


Over the past 12 months, the use of mobile codes has experienced dramatic growth. In relation to InfoTrends’ 2010 multi-client study entitled The Cross-Media Direct Marketing Opportunity, the adoption of mobile codes has seen a year-over-year increase of 194 percent.

Figure 2: How would you describe your familiarity with mobile response code technologies?

Among the marketers that we surveyed, the message is simple – mobile technology isn’t the only tool in the box. Marketers acknowledge that none of these technologies can stand alone. Today’s marketers will primarily leverage mobile to add interactivity to traditional media.

What’s a Printer to Do?

It’s time take a lesson from the past and respond quickly to this changing market dynamic. Service providers need to react so they can participate in the revenue stream associated with blending mobile and traditional media. Mobile is not going away, and consumers and marketers will demand its integration with traditional media. Adding capabilities and services – and ultimately establishing core competency in this area – will require a mix of hiring new talent, investing in the education and training of existing staff from sales, providing customer service, and of course partnering with other service providers.

For those willing to embrace change, the opportunity is significant. Considering the speed of mobile technology adoption, the early market entrants will be the winners. They will capture new revenues from mobile applications while growing traditional media revenues.

For more information on InfoTrends’ multi-client study entitled “Mobile Technology: Making Print Interactive,” please contact Matt O’Keefe at (781) 616-2115 or e-mail >>>.