How Mobile Technology is Changing the Landscape for Small Business Owners
For small business owners, mobile technologies offer a two-pronged solution to boost productivity and increase marketing reach. Whether or not businesses adopt these technologies may make or break them.
In every industry and sector, mobile technologies are displacing older means of doing work and reaching out to customers. Small business owners benefit from thinking of such mobile technologies as disruptive technologies. Much like the introduction of the factory line changed production forever, the increasing saturation of mobile devices and marketing campaigns is permanently altering the way consumers and executives think about business. Business owners who are unwilling to adopt new technologies stand to be left behind in a business climate where connection is valued above all else.
Small Business Mobility & the American Consumer
In a recent study on smartphone use, the Pew Center discovered that some 56 percent of adults in the U.S. own smartphones. More than 50 percent of these adults use their mobile devices to search for local businesses, meaning that small business owners who don’t adopt mobile technologies will become increasingly disconnected from their customer base. Whether they launch text-based promotions or introduce a smartphone app, businesses that go mobile are poised to thrive in today’s environment.
Some small business leaders are discouraged from creating apps for customers because they believe they are simply too expensive. However, launching a smartphone app or mobile campaign offers business leaders a way to build relationships with customers based on interaction and dialogue.
Mobile marketing campaigns can address a variety of needs:
- Distribution of coupons and special offers
- Education about products and services
- Increasing brand loyalty and brand awareness
- Tracking customer redemption of coupons and offers
- Assessing customer satisfaction with products and services
In the 2011 report Main Street Goes Mobile, media firm Borrell Associates shared that a full 50 percent of small business owners planned to launch mobile marketing campaigns within the year. Given the many advantages of mobile marketing, this isn’t surprising. An incredible 91 percent of American adults admit to having their smartphones within reach 24 hours a day. Apps allow business leaders to greatly expand their audience and build better relationships with these constantly connected customers.