Online marketing services providers are planning to invest in mobile channels to engage with consumers this year, a new report has found.

The Econsultancy Customer Engagement Report found that 73 per cent of companies that responded to its survey said they would look towards mobile in 2011, with 19 per cent describing their level of investment as "significant".

Nearly half (47 per cent) said they would aim to create an application to exploit the opportunities available, while 28 per cent have already done so.

While 15 per cent already have m-commerce capabilities, a further 46 per cent are planning to move into this area in the next 12 months.

However, many companies stated that they did not have the expertise needed to fully utilise the technology and this was holding back their expansion in the sector.

Recent research conducted by In-Stat suggested that almost a billion smartphones will have been shipped worldwide by the end of 2015.

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