©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
b2b mobilization may be less about the buzz of iPhone apps and more about extending already finely tuned online marketing practices straight to the customer’s pocket
Mobile marketing has tempted marketers with the promise of some flashy uses: slick iPhone or iPad apps; fancy mobile loyalty or couponing opportunities on check-in services such as Foursquare; or even futuristic interactive billboards that change messaging for each passer-by. The truth, b2b marketing experts say, is that mobile shouldn’t be thought of as a fancy new toy—nor as a simple after-thought to be added to existing campaigns—but as another tool that savvy marketers can use as part of their integrated digital marketing toolbox. Spending on mobile marketing is beginning to rise, although it’s yet to represent a huge chunk of marketing budgets. Earlier this summer, Forrester Research said it expected b2b mobile marketing spend to increase from $26 million in 2009 to $106 million in 2014—not a big number, especially compared to Forrester’s estimates of $4.8 billion in overall b2b interactive marketing spend in 2014, but it does represent a quadrupling in mobile marketing activity over the next five years, said Forrester analyst Michael Greene.