By Durk Price

Many have declared this the year of mobile marketing.  I been hearing this for the last two years, but this time around I’m convinced it’s already a mainstream reality.

Last year, market researcher, Forrester, claimed, “The mobile internet era isn’t around the bend but already here.”

New research out this month from Gartner estimates total spend on mobile advertising will reach $3.3 billion in 2011, growing to over $20.6 billion by 2015. That is a big opportunity.

The reason for the rise in mobile marketing and mobile is the rapid adoption of smartphones. In February, comScore issued its first year in-review report for mobile, noting that smartphone adoption accelerated in both the U.S. and Europe. U.S. smartphone adoption reached 27 percent of mobile subscribers as of December 2011, up 10 percentage points from the prior year, while European adoption reached 31%, percent – also up nearly 10 points.

However, many retailers have no mobile strategy in place, despite acknowledging that mobile commerce was already affecting shopping behavior.

We think now is the time for retailers to being developing a strategy for using mobile as way to further market and sell their products.  In fact, many of our clients are a great fit for mobile and we are encouraging them to move forward and seize the opportunity.

For example, we are working with MShopper.com as one of the solutions. In learning about them we found out a lot about the space. MShopper does provide a piece of their service on performance, since there is not enough adoption of mobile- meaning customers really haven’t been capturing mobile information up to now- MShopper operates as a software as a service (SaaS) solution. But we found the toolset to be easy to launch, manage and grow which erases a lot of the mobile angst we have been hearing about at this early stage.

We fully expect that mobile challenges will be overcome with more tools and services and we want our clients to be ready.