Small Business Mobile Marketing Attracts New Customers

By Pedro Hernandez | Posted May 03, 2012

Web.com and Lab42 took a look at the impact of mobile marketing on small businesses and their findings illustrate how mobility is redefining commerce, particularly in its ability to attract new customers.

The data indicates that to reach new customers, it makes sense to target their mobile devices. After polling 500 small business owners for Web.com's Small Business Mobile Survey, the online marketing services providers discovered that of the U.S.-based small businesses (with headcounts of less than 100) that employed mobile marketing techniques, 84 percent reported an increase in new business.

Part of the reason is that mobile consumers are increasingly relying on smartphones and tablets to scope out local businesses, according to David Brown, Web.com's CEO. That spells good news for shops that carve out some room for iPhones in their Web marketing budget.

"Having a mobile presence can be a huge competitive advantage for small businesses trying to attract local customers by instantly introducing a potential customer to their business' products and services in a mobile-enhanced way," states Brown.


Small businesses are getting the message. Of those polled, 69 percent view mobile marketing as critical to their growth over the next five years. Plus, 64 percent plan on increasing the amount they spend on mobile this year, a good sign for SMB marketing specialists.

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. Despite this newfound awareness, there's no shortage of ways to botch things up.

Missed Mobile Marketing Opportunities

According to the survey, most small business owners let mobile consumers just slip through their fingers. Although 60 percent of respondents reported having websites, only 26 percent ran a mobile-friendly site and fewer still -- just 14 percent -- had a standalone mobile version.

Mobile search is another stumbling block. More than 61 percent of small businesses lack a mobile search strategy, finds Web.com.

These figures provide more evidence that small business owners struggle to align their marketing strategies with an increasingly mobile landscape. A recent survey by BIA/Kelsey and vSplash found that a staggering 93.3 percent of SMB websites failed to render properly on mobile devices. Sixty percent didn't even bother to post their phone numbers, depriving potential customers of an easy method of initiating contact.

Why would small businesses pass up mobile marketing's business-boosting potential?

Simply, small business owners have so much to do with so little time -- and often, even fewer resources. In addition to keeping their companies afloat, 64 percent of small business owners are also acting as their one-person marketing team, says Web.com.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor for InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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