Mobile Brings Growth Opportunities to Small Businesses in 2016

Posted By: Cesar Diaz

Published on Apr 27, 2016

Small businesses are presented with a unique opportunity to acquire and retain customers, while driving repeat sales, brought on by the explosion of mobile phone usage, coupled with the the ability to send marketing ads and messages directly to current and potential customers’ phones.

Studies show that more than 9 out of 10 American adults in the United States now own a mobile phone 1, of which two-thirds are “smartphones”, up from 35% since spring of 2011 2.

Time spent on mobile has similarly been on the rise; In 2016, American adults have been shown to spend over three hours per day on their mobile devices, compared to just over 2 hours per day on desktop and laptop devices. As mobile time spent has been on the rise, desktop has been in decline since 2011.

Daily time spent by device 2011-2016.

Social media remains one of the biggest contributors to these numbers. Facebook alone has over 1 billion daily active users, and most social media is now accessed via mobile devices.3

There is no question that mobile is massive and here to stay, so the question then becomes: how can small businesses take advantage of these trends?

In a nutshell, mobile marketing entails being present and accessible to mobile audiences, reaching and engaging new audiences with mobile advertising, and retaining customers while building loyalty via mobile communications.

Adopting a mobile marketing strategy makes great sense in today’s environment. On top of the unprecedented popularity of mobile devices, relatively few companies (especially among small businesses) are utilizing mobile marketing to its fullest, leaving the market with relatively thin competition for those who build a comprehensive mobile experience.


Establishing a Mobile Presence

Mobile marketing starts with the establishment of a mobile presence, giving customers the ability to find, access and interact with a business from their ever-present mobile devices.

The first place to start is with a mobile-friendly website. Most businesses have had ample time in the internet era to establish a website of some kind, but surprisingly few are designed to be optimized for mobile, giving those that are, a definite leg up on the competition. Of the small businesses with a website, only 56 percent said that their website has a responsive design.4

It takes less than you might think to make a website mobile friendly; a qualified website developer can take an existing website and make it completely mobile friendly with few changes and a surprisingly small investment of time and funds.

Apps have also become increasingly important in the mobile sphere. Apps make up the majority of mobile minutes usage, 90% according to Flurry, a number that eclipses time spent on either mobile or desktop browsers. A well designed app is an excellent way for a small business to communicate with customers on a daily basis, and offer customers a way to easily interact with the company in a variety of fashions; however, not all business may have a need for an app. Consider the value an app may bring to your customers along with your budget to help in your determination. Surveying a few current customers on whether they would find your app useful may provide valuable insights.

Social media profiles have become a must for small businesses nowadays. Smartphone users tend to use their mobile devices for social media use more than anything else. Having a presence on these networks can help small businesses engage current customers and followers to build loyalty and drive repeat business.

Proximity beacons provide another valuable way to create a mobile presence, which encompasses “beacon” technology to enable a physical location with the ability to provide local content in order to enhance available information, increase point-of-sale efficiency, and increase conversion. Beacons can be placed throughout a store to render targeted information accessible on smartphones via bluetooth technology.

beacon proximity technology

Acquiring New Customers

Search engines and popular social media sites offer mobile friendly advertising opportunities to help acquire new customers. Highly targeted advertising campaigns through search engines, such as Google or Bing, review aggregators such as Yelp, and social media giants such as Facebook, can help a business to stand out among the competition and be found by mobile users.

Due to lower competition, mobile advertising offers discounted pay-per-click costs as a majority of businesses do not have a mobile-friendly customer experience, leaving opportunity on the table for those who do.

Google Mobile Search Ads Facebook Mobile Search Ads

Retaining Customers and Driving Repeat Sales

Text message (SMS and MMS) campaigns are one of the most efficient ways businesses can communicate with customers. Text messages have a 99% delivery rate, according to a report from FunMobility, and recipients mostly tend to read new text messages as soon as they’re received.

A business can leverage mobile messaging platforms to send automated notifications, announcements and marketing messages for many useful purposes such as appointment reminders, payment notifications, offers, announcement broadcasts and more.

Built-in loyalty programs provide the ability to reward customers with coupons and discount codes, helping businesses improve customer retention and lifetime value.

Assisted platform integration with Customer Management Systems enable automated messaging triggered by custom data fields such as due dates, appointment dates, renewal dates, etc.

text message with coupon text message appointment reminder

In summary, mobile messaging empowers businesses with the ability to stay in communications after a sale in order to retain customers and drive repeat business, while reducing marketing time and effort.

MobileMarketing.com offers a robust and affordable mobile marketing platform with many useful features, along with world-class assisted support. See navigation menu for full list of features, pricing, how it works, and how to get started.