According to a recent study from Web.com, 14 percent of the 500 small businesses surveyed have a stand-alone mobile website, and 26 percent have a mobile-friendly site. What's more, 84 percent of those with a stand-alone product said they've seen increases in new business activity as a result of their mobile marketing efforts.
While the success rate is surely good news, there still seems to be a lack of urgency among small businesses to create a mobile presence.
Or maybe it's not urgency - perhaps it's a lack of time. Researchers revealed that 36 percent of those polled felt time and resource limitations were the biggest hurdles in preventing them from moving forward with a mobile website. Thirty-one percent pointed to a lack of budget as another barrier. A primary reason for this may be that 64 percent of small business owners are lacking an actual marketing team and are trying to perform the effort on their own in addition to running other aspects of their company.
However, 69 percent of respondents said they either agree or strongly agree that mobile marketing will be integral to their growth over the next five years, yet 61 percent said they don't have a viable mobile search strategy in place in order to be found on smartphone and tablet devices.
The Small Biz Lady blog suggests setting up a mobile account with Google AdWords, assuming you've already registered for PC and laptop-optimized ads. Other marketing options include adding click-to-call and call tracking technology to measure ad effectiveness and provide consumers with one-click access to a customer service representative for a brick-and-mortar location. Mobile ad platforms like AdMob could also be considered, as well as the 140 Proof app for Twitter mobile.
Given that businesses view mobile as a potential revenue-builder, it's no surprise that Web.com found 64 percent of owners plan to spend more on mobile marketing in 2012. A mere 3 percent said they will reduce their mobile budget. Thirty-eight percent of those polled believe adding a mobile element will help provide better customer service to existing customers, while 36 percent think it can work to attract more local consumers. Finally, 34 percent feel mobile will give them a competitive advantage over the competition.