With smartphone use soaring, mobile marketing offers an almost guaranteed way for small business owners to attract more customers—and more sales.
Recent comScore figures show that some 82.2 million Americans now have smartphones, with that number growing by the day. It's no wonder then that small-business owners are rapidly realizing the importance of adding mobile marketing to their overall marketing strategies. In the Small Business Mobile Survey released earlier this month by Web.com, 69 percent of small businesses say they believe mobile marketing will be critical to their growth over the next five years.
But as every busy business owner will admit, knowing that something is important and actually acting on it are two different things. For example, only 60 percent of small businesses that responded to a Web.com survey say have websites. (What’s up with the other 40 percent of you?) Of that 60 percent, just 26 percent have a mobile-friendly website (which is optimized for a smartphone screen), and a paltry 14 percent have a stand-alone mobile website.
Seeing a Mobile Bump
If you need further convincing of the benefits that going mobile can bring, consider this: A whopping 84 percent of the small-business owners with stand-alone mobile sites say they have seen an increase in new business activity as a result of their mobile marketing strategies. I don’t know about you, but 84 percent is close enough to “all” to persuade me that mobile marketing is pretty much a guaranteed way to increase your sales.
David Brown, chairman and chief executive officer of Web.com, notes that with more consumers searching for local businesses on their mobile devices, it’s now imperative that small businesses have a mobile presence. But a mobile website is only a piece of that puzzle.
In addition to having a mobile website, a mobile presence means having a search strategy to ensure your business comes out on top of mobile search results. Unfortunately, more than 61 percent of small businesses Web.com surveyed currently have no mobile search strategy. So when prospects try to find them, they’re likely finding your competitors instead.
Finding the Time
If you’ve delayed developing a mobile site and strategy because of time concerns, you are certainly not alone. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of entrepreneurs in the study say they are a one-person marketing team. No wonder they haven’t devoted sufficient attention to mobile marketing yet.
If mobile has been on your to-do list for a while now, you are like the 64 percent of other entrepreneurs who plan to invest more in mobile technology and marketing this year. The bottom line is that ignoring mobile marketing in 2012 will guarantee that your business will be stuck in one place—while everyone else is moving forward.
How do you plan to incorporate mobile in your 2012 marketing plans?
View an infographic of the Web.com Small Business Mobile survey and download the full study at Web.com.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.