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SMBs Focus on Increased Online Presence

Mobile is still a low priority

December 18, 2013

Small and medium-sized businesses typically lag behind their larger counterparts when it comes to marketing efforts—including digital. Next year, SMBs say they plan to focus on building more of their businesses online. But how long will it take them to catch up with newer technologies like mobile?

Research from j2 Global indicated that a general increase in online presence, including things as basic as setting up a website or online store, was the top priority for 2014 for nearly three in 10 SMB professionals surveyed. Automating marketing email function was the No. 2 priority for the group, while a comparatively small 13.4% were focused on mobile—one of the key areas of growth for marketers are larger firms.

Top Marketing Priority for 2014 According to US SMB Professionals (% of respondents)

When SMBs do take to mobile, however, Facebook rules: Nearly seven in 10 respondents said they either currently used or plan to adopt in 2014 Facebook for mobile marketing purposes. About 43% said the same of Twitter.

Mobile Apps that US SMB Professionals Have Used or Plan to Adopt Next Year for Business Development and Marketing, Nov 2013 (% of respondents)

More than 45% of the US population will use the mobile internet at least monthly this year, eMarketer estimates, a figure set to rise to nearly two-thirds by 2017. But small businesses have been slow to go mobile—not just in their advertising efforts, but even in something as basic as creating a mobile-optimized website that will put them conveniently in the hands of consumers on the go.

Nearly half of respondents to an April 2013 survey by ControlScan and TransFirst said they did not have a mobile-optimized website; an additional 17% did not know or were unsure, suggesting that up to two-thirds of small businesses surveyed were unprepared with mobile-optimized websites.


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