I’ve traveled more this year than ever. While I’ve had my share of bad meals, I’ve come across a handful of business owners who’ve perfected the making of a sandwich.
The building of a database for marketing purposes is another story.
While the results of others justify more adoption of mobile by small and medium-sized business owners, the fact remains that SMBs for the most part wake up to run their operations. Marketing, especially through mobile, comes when it can with limited funds.
That may change in 2014.
In a new survey from highly-regarded Borrell Associates, 64 percent of SMBs are “very” or “somewhat” optimistic about near-term improvement of the local economy. Spending has already begun with digital dollars allotted rising from 15 percent of ad budgets in 2011 to 19 percent this year.
Mobile stands to be a big gainer going forward, says Borrell. The survey found that 85 percent of local businesses say that a mobile presence is important, but only 19 percent are participating.
An increased spend in mobile could come at the expense of other channels, especially the declining daily deals model. Seventy-seven percent aren’t participating in daily deals, according to Borrell. Only half who do are satisfied.
Despite the headlines that indicate that the sky has fallen, newspaper still gets the majority of SMB ad dollars – 22 percent. Beyond the aforementioned digital numbers, print publications (12 percent), direct mail (9 percent) and radio (8 percent) followed.
What’s going to get SMBs to engage more in mobile? Focused, concise, results-oriented sales pitches. Borrell says that on average, SMBs get five sales calls a week and listen to only one.
For those of us who are positioning our products to this audience, it behooves us to sell ease of use, return on investment, manageable costs, and the understanding that in 2014, the making of an outstanding turkey sandwich will still weigh higher in an SMBs mind that the building of a marketing list.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program http://Goo.gl/t3fgW, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions