Survey: 49 Percent Of SMBs To Incorporate Mobile Into Marketing Efforts Next Year

A new survey sponsored by mobile lead-gen provider Pontiflex found that 49 percent of small businesses (SMBs) are “somewhat likely or very likely” to incorporate mobile into their marketing efforts in the next year. The online survey had 1,300 respondents, mostly from the US.

Among those that were already buying mobile ads/media, 72 percent planned to maintain the same level of spending or increase it in the coming year. A majority of the 27 percent who planned to increase mobile ad spending said they would do so by up to 30 percent.

However, one of the barriers to further mobile ad spending growth is lack of a clear ROI. This is problem for mobile in general, as many marketers are using incorrect ROI metrics and formulas. This is especially true among traditional search marketers porting campaigns to mobile.

The survey found that nearly half (49 percent) of those SMBs with mobile advertising experience would further boost spending if they could get a higher ROI. This is where the Pontiflex angle comes in.

Pontiflex is a company that gets paid by mobile marketers for lead generation rather than impressions or clicks. It’s introducing a self-service product called AdLeads. The survey is part of the formal product launch though the program has been operating for several months. I spoke yesterday to Pontiflex CEO Zephrin Lasker about the survey and the new AdLeads program.

AdLeads is a self-service platform. Ads appear in mobile apps and generate a simple email capture form (within the app experience). Lasker said both enterprises and SMBs are now using the tool; there are 10,000 customers that have signed up to date.

Leads range in price from $0.88 up to $10. Advertisers set a budget and Pontiflex determines the per-lead price based on the category and geography. Pontiflex optimizes the campaign on behalf of the advertiser; there is no menu of targeting parameters to choose from.

Lasker argued that SMBs don’t want to pay for clicks or impressions but more tangible results (e.g., email signups or phone calls). Indeed, the survey results reflect this.

  • 26 percent of respondents preferred the idea of paying for signups (the email addresses and/or social networking handles)
  • 18 percent were fine with clicks as a billable event (CPC)
  • 6 percent were OK with impressions (CPM)
  • 52 percent were unsure of the right model

These findings are consistent with lots of earlier survey data that reveal SMBs would rather pay for leads or actual customers vs. clicks. This is what made daily deals so initially intoxicating to the small business market.

Another finding of the Pontiflex survey is that 75 percent of respondents said location targeting “was very important or somewhat important” in a mobile ad campaign. Currently Pontiflex/AdLeads allows for targeting by metro area, state or province. CEO Lasker said the network could offer lat-long targeting but wasn’t. He added that zip or equivalent level targeting would be added in the future.

It’s important to point out that this survey population doesn’t mirror the distribution of SMBs in the US today, where the bulk of businesses have fewer than four employees and spend $5,000 or less marketing annually. This survey population is a more successful and sophisticated group of SMBs:

Respondents averaged $2.3 million U.S. income with 41% reporting under $1 million.  Respondents also reported an average of $68,393.15 total expenditures on advertising and marketing, with 50% spending under $25,000 total.  Respondents report a median of six employees, with an overall mean of 78 full-time employees.

As you may recall Pontiflex was the company that previously brought us the survey arguing that nearly half of mobile ad clicks were unintended.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Statistics: Email Marketing | Statistics: Mobile Marketing | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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