Over 80 percent of small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. will invest in mobile marketing activity of some sort in 2011, according to the results of a survey conducted by Borrell Associates. In addition, almost a third of SMBs engaging in mobile marketing campaigns say they don’t expect to have to pay for it upfront, thanks to the proliferation of daily deals.
Borell surveyed a total of 484 SMBs during the second quarter of the year, and found 83 percent of respondents plan to invest, or have already invested some of their annual marketing budget in at least one form of mobile marketing. On average, those respondents said they plan to dedicate more than 20 percent of their marketing spend to the emerging medium in 2011.
“It’s fascinating the way this is evolving, and that mall businesses are getting on board so quickly with mobile,” the report’s principal author, Kip Cassino, told ClickZ today. “Historically the small guys wait until the technology gets cheaper and the roadmap is a little more clear; that’s how it was with online. These guys aren’t waiting. They’re plunging in, and for the most part they’re doing so without many metrics.” he continued.
According to Cassino, a driving factor behind that mobile spend is the rise of daily deals, which are now being pitched on a daily basis to many small businesses. The fact that advertisers are not advised to pay upfront for those campaigns makes them an attractive prospect, Cassino suggested.
As a result, almost a third of small businesses that plan to engage in mobile marketing this year don’t expect to spend anything to do so, the survey found. Of course, those companies are ultimately paying for that marketing activity by offering their goods or services at a reduced cost, but they aren’t required to make an initial outlay.
The two charts above appear to contrast each other, however, with Figure 1.1 suggesting 83 percent of SMBs expect to devote a portion of their budgets to mobile marketing this year, and Figure 1.2 suggesting 52 percent will make a marketing effort. According to Borrell, this discrepancy is explained by investment by SMB’s in their own mobile websites and web presences, which many view as advertising but wouldn’t consider a “mobile marketing effort.”