Mobile marketing is one of the most significant trends I’ve seen since the advent of online retailing, and it’s moving into the small and midsize business (SMB) space at lightning speed. There already are 6 billion mobile phones on this planet — more than there are toothbrushes — and it has been predicted that people will use mobile phones more than their desktop computers within just two years.

Mobile marketing helps level the playing field with big companies by allowing SMBs to reach customers and prospects more effectively and affordably. Mobile devices have become one of the primary ways for consumers to find small companies.

A recent survey of SMBs’ demonstrated their enthusiasm for mobile Internet sites, text messaging, mobile apps, and other tools and tactics. I recently hosted a webinar on the lessons suggested by the research. This infographic depicts the findings, including:

    • 71% of SMBs have a mobile-friendly website
    • 40% send text messages to their customers
    • 59% want to use mobile marketing to win new customers

What does mobile marketing mean for your business?

Mobile marketing can offer tremendous advantages — including better customer service, improved productivity, and lower costs — compared to other marketing strategies. Mobile tools can also help you strengthen relationships with the customers you already have while winning new ones.

For example, I know a florist that created a mobile site that lets visitors browse, buy, and send flowers without ever entering her store. To improve the experience, the florist also used the following tactics:

    • Designed the site for mobile devices to help pages render properly
    • Simplified the order form so shoppers don’t have to enter much text
    • Provided a click-to-call feature to let customers quickly call with any questions

These are great take-aways for other SMBs looking to incorporate mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing can add to your bottom line

Mobile marketing also offers powerful ways to help boost profits. About half of those surveyed said they began mobile marketing to help increase their sales. The findings demonstrate how well they’re succeeding at this: 66% of the respondents said their mobile efforts have been somewhat to very effective.

Add this to the cost-saving benefits of mobile technology, and the impact to your bottom line could be dramatic. Promoting your mobile program through in-store signage, email, and your social media networks can help increase your return on investment.

In my next blog post , I’ll discuss some of the mobile tools that SMBs are using and offer tips you can use to get your mobile marketing program in place. Feel free to share this post with your colleagues using the share buttons below.

 

Alice Bredin is America’s foremost small business expert, with more than 15 years of experience in the small business market. She has provided highly practical, actionable advice to millions of business owners through her books, syndicated newspaper column, radio commentary, and small business forums.