Small Businesses Struggle with Mobile

Results from our recently released Local Pulse Survey, conducted on 1,008 Small and medium-sized businesses, indicate SMBs continue to struggle with mobile advertising and mobile technology. This comes as no surprise as they typically lag behind their larger counterparts when it comes to marketing efforts—including digital. When we asked SMBs about their planned changes in media spend over the next twelve months, mobile ranked 6th in terms of increase out of 20 different media types. Twenty-six percent of SMBs plan to increase mobile budgets in 2014. The average mobile budget increase per SMB is 10%-15%. While this isn’t a main priority for most SMBs, they are beginning to recognize the need for help in this area. This was highlighted by 20% of SMBs rating mobile as a top area they need help with in 2014. They want current marketing service providers to spend time educating them on the options available, performance expectations, and how mobile can help reach their target market and drive sales.

Thrive Analytics- Local Pulse Survey, January 2014
Thrive Analytics- Local Pulse Survey, January 2014


eMarketer estimates, more than 45% of the US population will use the mobile internet at least monthly this year. However 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. Seventy percent of small businesses that have websites don’t have mobile-optimized ones. When asked about a mobile strategy to capture on the go consumers, 68% of SMBs stated they have no strategy let alone the knowledge or time to develop one.


This represents a significant opportunity for marketing service providers working in the small business space. Not only is there a need for help and education with mobile products, SMBs are willing to pay for it if they can see the value in terms of sales.




Jason Peaslee

Jason Peaslee is the Managing Partner of Thrive Analytics, a marketing research and analytics consulting firm. His career spans more than 20 years in marketing, advertising, product development, research, and business management. Before founding Thrive Analytics in 2010, he held several senior leadership roles at AT&T, Reynolds & Reynolds, Berry Network, & The Berry Company.

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