Message on the run? Data points to SMB mobile marketing uptick

More than 20 percent of small-business owners plan a 2012 increase in money for marketing aimed at mobile devices, compared with just 2 percent in 2009.

Be honest, here. How many people reading this commentary right now leave their house without a mobile phone in their pocket, purse or hand? Don't you feel somewhat naked if you realize you've cut yourself off from instantaneous access?

That behavior is prompting a wave of interest in technologies and services that support marketing campaigns and messaging delivered via mobile devices, according to new data from Ad-ology Research. The organization's Small Business Marketing Forecast found that more than 20 percent of small-business decision makers are planning to put more money into mobile marketing activities over the next 12 months, compared with about 12 percent who said the same last year.

That is up sharply from just two years ago, when a mere 2 percent of small businesses said they planned to increase their spend on mobile marketing.

One reason is probably a much higher percent of small-business owners are using smartphones, compared with the general population. Ad-ology said that approximately 80 percent of them have one, compared with less than half of the general population. It is yet another indicator of how small businesses continue to push the envelope when it comes to mobile technology.

Said C. Lee Smith, Ad-ology Research President and CEO:

"Marketing opportunities using mobile devices are rapidly emerging just as they did for the Internet many years ago. Small-business owners are increasingly connected themselves and recognize mobile as a viable way to effectively and efficiently reach potential customers."

The research behind this data was gathered in October 2011.