Is your small business going mobile? If so, you’re in the majority according to a new study by Constant Contact. The survey found the majority of small businesses use mobile solutions or apps to market to their customers, and also use mobile apps to run their businesses better.
What mobile tools are entrepreneurs using to run their businesses?
- 82 percent use a calendar/time management app.
- 74 percent use a customer communications app.
- 52 percent use a GPS and mapping app.
- 44 percent use an accounting/invoicing app.
- 44 percent use an app for industry news/information consumption.
- 29 percent use a travel planning app.
How about marketing? Mobile devices including tablets and smartphones, mobile optimized websites and text message marketing are all being used by small business owners. However, most entrepreneurs are easing in to mobile marketing by starting in their comfort zones. Specifically, 97 percent of small companies that use mobile marketing are using mobile social media, and 71 percent are using email marketing. Just 17 percent use location-based marketing tools such as Foursquare and only 15 percent use text message marketing. In other words, small business owners are more likely to adopt desktop-based forms of marketing to the mobile platform rather than focus on inherently mobile marketing tools.
Still, that’s a start, and it’s better than the holdouts in the survey are doing. Of the 34 percent of small business owners not currently using mobile marketing, 65 percent don’t plan to start. As Americans grow increasingly wedded to their mobile devices, this could be a huge mistake.
How do you know if your customers will respond to mobile marketing? You don’t until you try. While many of the respondents in the survey say they aren’t using mobile because customers aren’t asking for it, a better approach is to think about how you buy products and services, look for restaurants to visit, or search for information online. If you’re most likely to grab your smartphone to do any of the above, then you’d best believe your customers do, too. If you don’t use your smartphone, ask others in different age groups and demographics what they do.
The experts at SCORE can help you do market research to determine what methods would work best with your customers. Visit www.score.org to learn more and get matched with your SCORE mentor today.