A few years ago, B2B marketers were questioning whether social media was a viable marketing channel. Today, we see best-in-class companies leveraging social media not just at the top of the waterfall to drive awareness and branding, but all the way through to accelerating opportunities to help drive adoption and retention. Further, integrating a social component into the campaign mix can increase response rates by more than 20 percent. Good news to be sure; yet, just as marketers are starting to evolve their social strategy, along comes a new challenge and a new opportunity: how to leverage mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing is certainly not new, but for most B2B companies it’s still in a very early stage, as evidenced by the prevalence of Web site content and emails that are not mobile friendly. B2B marketers must evolve their mobile strategy much as they have (or are attempting to) their social strategy – by aligning its use and development to a campaign framework that supports buyer needs at each buying stage. Mobile is also similar to social in its considerable internal value potential, providing sales, partners and field marketing with additional access and delivery options that are better aligned to their preferences.

The critical question is: Where to start? Consider how mobile devices are currently being utilized. Business people are increasingly using them to read email – in fact, according to Return Path, email opens for mobile devices increased 34 percent in 2011, while continuing to decline for laptops and desktops. Further, Return Path projects that mobile will overtake Web mail and desktops to become the leading platform for email by year’s end. The message is clear: Marketers need to begin preparing (and designing) email and other content with mobile devices – and mobile users’ needs and preferences – in mind. There’s plenty of room to grow from here in terms of optimizing navigation, search and forms, and there’s the necessary technology available to improve existing access and delivery options.

One final thought on mobile marketing as it relates to social media. Mobile devices are in many cases the primary access point for social networks – from tweets to Facebook to LinkedIn. If you want your content read and shared, make it mobile friendly.