LONDON: Mobile is gaining top level support, with budgets increasing across EMEA, but measurement remains a problem for many marketers, according to a new survey by the MMA in collaboration with WARC.

The report, The State of the Industry: Mobile Marketing in EMEA, based on a survey of 548 marketing professionals across the region, revealed that 62% of marketers have found mobile 'quite effective', while around a third believe it will be 'very important' over the next year.

Designed to provide a snapshot of mobile marketing today, the report showed that despite great expectations for mobile – notably at a senior level – only 11% feel 'ready' to implement sophisticated mobile marketing, with 16% reporting a learning agenda for the future.

Still, 83% of those surveyed reported that their mobile budgets are expected to increase in the next year. Furthermore, within five years, 40% expect mobile will account for a quarter of marketing spend.

The bigger problem for marketers is their grasp of measurement - many continue to rely on behavioural metrics rather than ROI - and just under a third (32%) observed that this is the biggest barrier to the growth of mobile. However, Amy Rodgers, WARC's Research Editor noted the promising investment.

The findings, Rodgers said, "reveal a market that sees the potential of mobile and is investing in it accordingly". Elsewhere, she observed, mobile phones are quickly moving out of their position as media devices and into payment devices.

While last year's survey registered multi-screening as the behaviour change with the greatest perceived impact on marketing (74%), this year, mobile payment (44%) and m-commerce (38%) emerged as the factors likely to have the most effect.

"The significance of mobile payments and m-commerce to the region is evident in the results, and it will be interesting to see whether intended investment in mobile technologies results in increased maturity in mobile strategies and integration over the coming year," Rodgers added.

Data sourced from MMA and WARC