August 25, 2011, 12:40 PM

Little guys cozy up to mobile ads

Small and mid-size retailers are juicing up mobile marketing plans.

Kevin Woodward

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Businesses including retailers are forecasted to spend $787.7 million on local mobile advertising in 2011, Borrell Associates says.

As consumers spend more time using their smartphones to find deals and make purchases, retailers are willing to invest more in mobile marketing and advertising, a new report finds. This mobile marketing push is just as important to smaller retailers as it is to larger ones, suggests the “Main Street Goes Mobile” report from research and consulting firm Borrell Associates.

In a survey of 484 businesses in various industries, including retail, Borrell found that on average the companies expect to devote more than 20% of their ad budgets to mobile marketing and advertising. “Earmarking 20% of their marketing budgets to something as new as mobile advertising is unprecedented,” contends Kip Cassino, Borrell executive vice president. 

Borrell forecasts that businesses, including retailers, will spend $787.8 million on local mobile advertising in 2011, a 56% increase from the $505 million spent in 2010.

Borrell projects that mobile paid search will garner 34.6% of the 2011 local mobile ad spending, with run of site display, which are untargeted banners bought based on page views, receiving the next highest share at 32.2%.

Mobile video advertising, at 13.8%, is the next most popular choice, followed by targeted display ads, 9.4%; mobile audio ads, 5.3%; and e-mail at 4.9%.

Small and mid-size retailers expect more traffic and conversions to come from their increased mobile ad spending, Borrell says.

“While Main Street tends to be cautious about change, local businesses are embracing mobile opportunities at remarkable rates,” Cassino says. “They watch people walk by their storefronts staring at small screens and read about door-busting texting and mobile couponing campaigning for small businesses.”

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