With the increase in the use of the mobile phones I am sure many small business to business companies are wondering if they should be doing B2B mobile marketing. Based on a recently released report I think the answer becomes easier.
Take a look at these facts
- mobile email opens account for only 13% of all email opens
- within the B2B industry mobile email opens account for only 3% of all email opens
- the industry with the highest % email opens occurring on mobile devices is the financial services industry at 19%
To read the complete article go to this article titled iPhone Dominated Mobile Marketing Activity from marketingprofs.com.
Another great article related to this topic is The State Of Mobile from Nielsen
At only 3% of emails I would say that for most B2B small businesses it is not worth their time, effort and resources to do any kind of mobile marketing. It appears for B2B interactions and transactions mobile devices are not yet being used that much. Creating an email specific for mobile devices or even a specific device such as the iPhone is probably not worth it. The exception might be creating apps given almost all people have a cell phone and one in four have a smart phone (iPhone, Blackberry, Android etc). As of June 2010 59% of smart phone and 9% of regular cell phone users download apps. This is still the minority of people but the thing about an app, is if it is useful to the user, they will use it over and over again. This means they will be interacting with your brand over and over. Given this repeat exposure mobile apps can be effective, if it is a good app. So the question really becomes, do you have an idea for a great app and do you have a means to distribute the app to enough people to make it worth while. If you are able to create an app that makes sense for you business and distribute it effectively you could get a very good return on the investment. The other exception where mobile marketing might make sense for a small business would be if you are a small business that provides financial services. Given 20% of all email opens in this industry occur on mobile devices it is a significant amount of activity that is worth going after.
Even though everyone has a mobile phone it appears mobile probably does not makes sense to be part of the marketing mix for most small businesses at this time.
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I hope this article has been thought provoking. I know I was surprised how little the % of email opens was for the B2B market. I am sure this will change with time as cell phones improve, add new features and gain more usage penetration. I am sure there will be a time when B2B mobile marketing will make sense for small businesses, it just appears that that time is not now.