ImageNearly anybody with an iPhone and a Facebook account can agree that businesses are increasingly using mobile marketing and advertising techniques as marketing tools. Advertisements, which are often catered to our interests or frequent Internet searches, now show up as we scroll through our mobile Facebook news feeds. Global mobile advertising revenue leaped from $5.3 billion in 2011 to $8.9 billion in 2012—an 82% increase— according to a July 2013 article from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

It is becoming progressively important, perhaps even critical, for businesses to engage in mobile marketing. Every year, smartphone purchases increase as competition drives more varieties and affordability. A growing population on social media sites opens up more opportunities for advertisers to promote their brands and products. The following are some interesting and relevant statistics regarding smartphone usage in the world today:

  • An infographic created by reveals that there are five billion mobile phones in the world, out of which 1.08 billion are smartphones.
    • This number continues to escalate. reports that smartphone sales grew 46.5% in the second quarter of 2013 alone.
  • According to a Microsoft Tag infographic, Americans spend an average of 2.7 hours per day socializing on their mobile devices, and 91% of mobile Internet access is to socialize (versus 79% on desktops).
  • Over one third of Facebook’s users use Facebook Mobile, and over half of Twitter’s users use Twitter mobile. According to this article, a study done by IDC reveals that smartphone users check Facebook an average of 14 times a day, and visitors’ average total daily mobile time on the site is half an hour.
  • An increasing number of the population is using smartphones to search for local businesses. According to an article on Small Business Trends, Google dominates mobile phone searches, but “mobile users are increasingly turning to services like Yelp”.
  • Media savvy mobile users even order their food on their phones. Another article published by the IAB reveals that over two-thirds (69%) of people polled said that they have placed food orders through mobile devices. 44% of those surveyed also use smartphones or tablets regularly to find restaurant phone numbers.

Potential benefits of mobile marketing:

Today, smartphone users almost always keep their mobile devices within easy reach. This is beneficial for marketers, as it also allows equal access to targeted awareness. With the simple click of a button—a virtual second or two—customers can view your business’s webpage or view the content your company has sent them. Whether you are using SMS, MMS, or some other technique such as push notifications, mobile marketing allows for simple, direct communication with huge viral potential. There are, of course, cons to be considered, such as privacy issues, according to this article. Mobile marketing is relatively simple to implement and reaches consumers rapidly and easily. If you own a small business, consider the possibilities that are available.

Bill Gates stated, “If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business.” I think most of us can agree with this statement, but my real question is this: will it soon be necessary for all businesses to be mobile?