Most small businesses know that word of mouth is the best marketing tool available, because it travels between family members and friends, the folks who consumers are most likely to trust. Some of the best strategies for small businesses involve ways to increase this friendly buzz via mobile marketing.

These days, people don’t often have a lot of time to chat in person. So word of mouth often means thoughts shared on the run by users of Internet-enabled smartphones or computer pads. It’s less obtrusive to email or text someone from the supermarket checkout line than it is to engage in a noisy telephone conversation.

Birth of a Smartphone World
As of 2012, worldwide sales of smartphones averaged roughly 4.6 per second, which exceeded the global birth rate of about 4.2 births per second. The Pew Internet Report also reported that 46 percent of American adults now have smartphones.

These statistics point to the increasing importance of mobile marketing — the art of reaching and selling to customers on the run via portable digital devices. Keys to unlocking business success through mobile marketing include:
• seeking help from a mobile marketing company;
• improving the configuration of your company website for the small screens of smartphones and computer pads; and
• focusing on inexpensive yet consumer-friendly solutions such as regular emails.

Investing in Mobile Marketing Advice
For owners and employees in businesses with small staffs, it’s difficult to complete all the basic tasks necessary on any given day. Keeping up with marketing — especially when it requires knowledge of ever-changing computer technologies and social media – can be exasperating without the help of a mobile marketing company to help you
• improve customer access to your website;
• configure your website for easier use on small screens;
• form a mobile plan of action; and
• select cost-effective mobile marketing strategies.

Although hiring mobile marketing help is an addition to the budget, it a wise investment. Time magazine has reported that, once underway, mobile marketing makes it easier for small businesses to increase earnings. In fact, Time noted, 84 percent of small businesses that used mobile marketing in 2012 reported it increased their new business.

Improving the Look of Mobile Websites
A one-size-fits all website doesn’t translate well from desktop computer screen to smartphone or computer pad. If your website isn’t easy to navigate on smaller digital devices, then it isn’t mobile friendly.

It does little good to send out sales promotions to smartphones by email or app-related notifications leading back to a website that is difficult to read on a small screen. But once you clean up the look, it’s time to begin inviting lots of mobile users in to look at the goods. Email may be the best choice.

Choosing What Customers Like
When it comes to receiving and sharing ad information on smartphones, 322 participants in a 2012 survey said that they preferred sales emails versus texts and push notifications — alerts to special offers sent through apps to which consumers subscribe.

Perhaps this is because email has been around longer and is more familiar. Or possibly it is due to the quieter, less demanding pitch of email sales. However, even with email, customers in the survey said they usually open only one email a week from a seller. So although it is important to advertise via mobile technologies, small businesses should take care not to get in the consumer’s face.