According to a new survey from Web.com Group Inc., 69 percent of small business owners said that mobile marketing will be the key to significant growth within the next five years, but a majority of them also admit that they have not developed any mobile marketing strategies.
“There is a large gap between the rapidly increasing mobile search volumes and the majority of small businesses lagging behind in mobile search strategy,” said David Brown, chairman and CEO of Web.com. “Over 61 percent of small businesses currently do not have a mobile search strategy and are missing out on consumers trying to find them via a smartphone device.”
The study of 500 U.S. small business owners also found 60 percent of those surveyed have a conventional web site, but only 26 percent have a web site with some mobile-optimized pages. Only 14 percent of small business owners have a stand-alone mobile site.
“With more and more consumers specifically searching for local businesses on their mobile devices, it is imperative that small businesses invest in a mobile presence,” said Brown. “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.”
The top three reasons why small business owners use a mobile web site include:
• Provide better service to existing customers (38 percent)
• Attract more local customers (36 percent)
• Gain competitive advantage (34 percent)
Over 80 percent of small businesses with a mobile presence report increases in new business activity directly related to their mobile tactics, the study says. And over 64 percent of savvy small business owners who have embraced mobile marketing will spend more on the technology in 2012, but 33 percent indicated their mobile spend this year will remain the same as last year.
In 2011, comScore – a digital marketing research firm – reported that out of 234 million U.S. mobile customers, 82.2 million use smartphones.