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ABM study finds publishers cautious about mobile

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Despite the overall growth in mobile marketing, business publishers are still taking a cautious approach in developing mobile strategies, according to a study conducted by American Business Media and media and market research company Outsell Inc. Highlights of the study, “Anytime, Anywhere: Mobile Benchmarks and Directions for B-to-B,” were presented last month at the ABM Executive Forum in Chicago. The study was based on an online survey conducted last summer with 104 C-level and operational executives at ABM member companies. The study found only 20% of C-level executives have deployed a formal mobile strategy; 56% toggle between a formal strategy and ad hoc efforts; and 24% do their mobile business on a project or case-by-case basis. Only 8% of C-level respondents reported that they plan to hire new employees for mobile development, while 28% plan to outsource. Mobile does not “come cheap,” said Chuck Richard, VP-lead analyst at Outsell, referring to mobile opportunities for b-to-b publishers. “If you go chasing after everything in mobile, and the revenue is slow, you can get exposed.” C-level executives reported that 5% of their digital revenue is generated through mobile. However, 19% of their total audiences access content via mobile devices. “The big money is not there,” Richard said. “ "Mobility' is different from the mobile business. Are people going to pay a lot for mobile content? You have to give them something that they can't get through another marketing channel.” The top mobile priorities among b-to-b media companies are to enhance the brand as a forward thinker (64%) and deliver b-to-b information to mobile users (60%), the study found. New revenue from mobile users (29%) and enhancing mobile e-commerce (24%) were comparatively low priorities. The study found 33% of ABM companies offer a mobile- optimized site, and 28% use a mobile site or subdomain. Just 7% offer e-newsletters specifically optimized for mobile devices.
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