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Small Businesses Gearing Up for Mobile Marketing, Slowly

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Small businesses that were early adopters of mobile marketing have begun to earn tangible returns on their mobile investments, according to a study by Web.com. Even so, most small businesses haven't embraced mobile marketing yet.

Among surveyed owners of small businesses (companies with fewer than 100 employees), fully six in ten (60%) have a Web presence, but few have a mobile Web presence: 

  • 26% have a mobile-friendly website (the same layout and content as standard site adjusted to suit a smartphone screen).
  • 14% have a stand-alone mobile website (content and layout designed specifically for mobile purposes). 


Even so, more than two-thirds (69%) of small business owners strongly agree (39%) or agree (30%) that mobile marketing is crucial to their growth over the next five years.

Moreover, among those 14% of small business owners with a mobile presence, 84% say they have generated increases in new business activity due to their mobile marketing efforts.


Below, additional findings from Web.com's Small Business Mobile Survey, conducted by Lab42 Market Research.

Mobile search strategies are lacking 

Despite rapid increases in mobile search volumes, 61% of small businesses do not have a mobile search strategy (in order to be found via mobile device). 

The biggest hurdle to mobile is limited time and resources

Time and resource limitations (36%) and lack of budget (31%) are the top two hurdles that prevent small businesses from moving forward with mobile.

Moreover, 64% of small business owners are acting as their one-person marketing team—in addition to running other aspects of their business.


However, mobile budgets are on the rise: 64% of small business owners say they plan to spend more on mobile marketing in 2012, 33% plan to spend the same amount, and 3% plan to spend less on mobile marketing in 2012.

The greatest motivation for mobile is providing better service to existing customers

Asked to rank their motivations for investing in mobile marketing, small business owners cite the following top three: 

  1. Provide better service to existing customers: 38%
  2. Attract more local customers: 36%
  3. Gain a competitive advantage: 34% 
About the data: This survey was conducted online via social networks, April 5- 12, 2012, among 500 owners of small businesses (companies with fewer than 100 employees). 

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