SMBs Prepare To Jump Into Mobile Marketing

So what do you your marketing plans look like for the next year? If you’re like the majority of small- to medium-sized businesses, they include putting together a mobile marketing campaign and making your move onto those smaller (but increasingly profitable) screens. And if they don’t, well, maybe they should!

Earlier this week, eMarketer commented on a survey from Strongmail which found that 75 percent of marketers without a current mobile strategy have plans to develop one within the next year. Strongmail’s 2012 Mobile Marketing survey found that 14 percent of business owners plan to dive into mobile within the next six months, 29 percent in the next 6-12 months, and 32 percent will do it in the next year or more.

It’s worth noting that even the marketers currently putting off mobile know they have only have a short window where they’ll be able to ignore this trend. The world and the market are becoming increasingly mobile-reliant. If you want your customers to be able to find you, your business must go where they are. And they’re on the move.

There’s no getting around it.

For businesses already investing in the mobile revolution, 70 percent are doing so with mobile Web sites; 55 percent are building mobile applications; and surprisingly, nearly 50 percent have experimented with QR codes.

While just 40 percent of respondents said they’re using paid mobile advertising today, you can expect this area to grow significantly over the next year, especially if Google and Facebook have anything to say about it.

Earlier this month, Google announced it would finally be integrating AdMob’s mobile display ads, which appear in more than 300,000 apps on phones, into its AdWords platform. The new integration will make it considerably easier for SMBs to purchase mobile ads since they’ll be to do it directly within AdWords, the same place they’re purchasing other types of paid advertising.

Facebook has also automated mobile-ad buying to make it easier and faster for businesses to purchase mobile ad inventory.

Of course, the Strongmail data has now been corroborated by multiple other sources.

For example, the Small Business Mobile Survey, released in May, indicated that while 69 percent of SMBs view mobile as a significant growth source for the future, only 26 percent currently have a mobile-friendly Web site today and just 14 percent having a standalone mobile site. Interestingly, however, of those that do have a standalone site, 84 percent said they had seen an increase in new business due to these mobile marketing efforts.

But, again, even these business owners know they can’t ignore mobile forever, with 64 percent saying they plan to spend more in mobile marketing this year. They’re motivated to get involved by the ability to provide better service to existing customers, attract more local customers, and gain a competitive advantage.

It truly is the time for mobile. If you haven’t dove into the mobile waters yet, now’s the time to jump. The water’s just heating up.

Image credit: stockbroker / 123RF Stock Photo


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

13 Reactions
  1. Luckily there are a couple trends working in their favor. First, the increasing ease of PPC advertising to mobile devices. While you’ll still be separating those efforts into their own campaigns, the interface is familiar. Second, smartphones have much larger screens than they used to, so you aren’t as limited in what you can display.

  2. Thanks Lisa, for the update on this important marketing trend for SMBs. Hopefully, despite the fact that many SMBs tend to be slow adopters with technology, the potential of mobile marketing is enough to get us all moving in this direction sooner rather than later!

  3. Thanks, Lisa.

    Timely, as usual.

    I was just starting to think about how I can get into all things mobile. I just tweaked my mobile site a bit, and I’m pretty happy about that.

    So many people are absorbing their content on the go.

    We need to be there.

    The Franchise King®

  4. Michael Herring

    I agree. SMBs that don’t adapt to mobile marketing now will get left behind. This is who I am, this is what I do!

  5. Nice article, Lisa. I think all businesses should strive to make their websites more mobile-responsive. But my focus is on mobile marketing apps, since it aligns far better with an overall direct marketing strategy. The key driver is, are you trying to engage customers and leads directly? And also consider how a mobile customer would most likely interacts with your business – via a mobile browser search, or a mobile app.

  6. Thanks Lisa for the heads up!

    As time goes by, more and more marketing strategies are continually sprouting which of course a big help for b2b marketers.

  7. Great article. Mobile can no longer be ignored, and there are many ways businesses can embrace it, even in small ways: SMS, location based marketing, QRcodes, mobile display ads etc. Today’s consumers have evolved and are more mobile than ever before. Businesses need to understand that and evolve their marketing as well.

  8. If we want to be fair to SMBs, we have to tell them exactly what works, and what does not, in mobile. There are too many distractions. At mTrax ( we have tested every form of mobile advertising you can think of. Banners, text, search, voice, in-app, games, interstitial, you name it. Of everything, the one area that really works on an ROI basis to generate calls from qualified customers is mobile search. So that’s what we do for SMBs: set them up right in mobile search on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, exclusively.

  9. Mobile strategy can definitely not be ignored any longer. In my opinion, if you have not yet (at least) considered a mobile strategy, you are behind. Those laggard industries (such as retail) need to get on board. Having a mobile strategy goes beyond a web-friendly site these days.

    Utilizing mobile technology such as the iPad or iPhone are critical…particularly for attracting recent college graduates and young professionals. So many begin their search for any item online – many on their iPads or tablet devices. Particularly for those purchases that are costly and require comparison. Utilizing mobile technology not only makes a business more appealing to this group, but will increase productivity.

    Imagine being able to interact with a salesperson with your iPad or iPhone…or being able to be connected to them through an email follow-up message rather than just getting a business card. Mobile is changing consumer spending behavior – it is now time for businesses to adapt!

  10. Businesses looking at ways to getting local consumers into their retail store need to create mobile friendly websites and communicate them via QR code linked posters or mobile links near the businesses point of presence.
    Startups such as dizilife ( with the mobile content creator helps businesses create local location sensitive mobile websites to bridge the last mile between impact to store footfall.