A poll by AT&T has proven that social media marketing will be vital in this effort.
AT&T has just released the findings from a study that has shown that social and mobile marketing are the next big thing.
Though word of mouth may still be king, but technology is experiencing massive growth.
Among the small businesses that took part in the survey, almost 60 percent stated that they intend to spend more on their marketing online in 2012 than they did last year. This is especially true in the location based efforts where these local businesses are realizing that people are using the GPS technology in their smartphones to find the shops, restaurants, and other services and merchants that they seek.
This is a clear indication of how important the smartphone penetration is to small businesses.
It also shows that smartphones are replacing or are at least joining traditional computers such as desktops and laptops as the tool of choice for surfing the net and finding content and information.
According to the AT&T survey, this has important ramifications for small businesses. It outlines a critical trend that these companies will be required to follow in order to be able to remain competitive. It is also likely that the results of this poll will be helping additional small businesses to realize the significant importance of this channel if they have not yet started their own mobile marketing efforts, as they were under the impression that they were not yet important.
The result of this can only be an increased reliance on location based search optimization efforts.
At the same time, the survey did show that there are a large number of small businesses that are falling behind the actual rate of the trend. For example, it determined that 75 percent of businesses of a small to medium size have a website, but only 31 percent of the companies of that size have a site that is mobile enabled.
This is an issue, as it goes against the trends that were discovered by a previous study performed by Morgan Stanley, which showed that by 2015, it will be mobile devices that are the most used for American web users. Companies that fail to use mobile marketing will therefore be shrinking their audience.