3 Ways Mobile Advertising is Making Life Easier for Entrepreneurs

Opinion11.02.2017
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Traditional marketing channels have been making way for digital ones in the past decade or so. In some parts of Asia this trend has yet to be introduced to standard business practices, given the pre-requisites that include good digital infrastructures and access to the Internet. However, in digitally advanced economies like South Korea and Japan, mobile advertising will make up a significant portion of the marketing budgets of businesses. It is evident that mobile advertising is being driven by the increase in the number of people who have access and use mobile devices today than in the past. Moreover, with more time being spent on mobile devices, the way people are consuming data and information has also shifted. For governments, in supporting their local economies, this is an opportunity to create incentives for small and medium enterprises to better engage in the digital economy. Mobile advertising benefits smaller businesses and entrepreneurs in the following ways:

Reduced costs

Traditional advertising and marketing channels carry a significant amount of costs to the average business. Historically, it was only those big corporations and brands that could afford to take on media channels like television and print to do their advertising. Small and medium enterprises often struggled with smaller marketing and advertising budgets, opting to utilize their investments on other operating costs. Digital marketing has made advertising a lot more affordable to small and medium enterprises. With platforms like Facebook and Instagram businesses can still reach a significant number of their target market while keeping their advertising costs low. They are also given the flexibility to engage in the digital economy through digitizing their businesses thereby taking out even more operating costs. It’s not uncommon today to find small businesses being run entirely on digital platforms.

Increased access to markets

In digitally advanced economies, where a significant number of people have access to mobile devices and the Internet, businesses deal with very little geographical challenges. With the digital presence of businesses, entrepreneurs can choose to digitize a significant portion of their business in order to reach customer bases that historically would have been impossible to do. Think of farming businesses that have adopted digital platforms to not just run their daily operations but also to engage with their customers and create more business opportunities. This has resulted in creative new business ideas, think Amazon, Grabr, Airbnb, and more. With strong logistical infrastructures, the shipping of goods and services has been made more affordable even to smaller businesses that are becoming increasingly digitized.

“Mobilization” of capital for business growth

With the added benefit of being able to interact with current and new markets on a larger scale, small and medium enterprises can also better utilize their investments to grow their businesses. Traditionally, with marketing costs making up a significant portion of the average business, smaller businesses took a longer time to grow their businesses. This is not the case anymore. Today, we have thousands of startups that make it big in a very short span of time. Udacity, Vox Media, and Uptake, are just a few examples. With digital platforms and mobile advertising, the result of reduced marketing costs and increased access to markets result in the ability of businesses to invest in R&D and opportunities that help them grow at a much faster rate. While this does not take away the pre-requisite of having a sound digital marketing strategy to make that happen, the opportunities are no doubt greater for small and medium enterprises.

With that being said, mobile advertising only makes sense for businesses if they’re operating in an environment where their consumer base has access to the Internet and to the now “traditional” digital platforms where most businesses operate on. With some countries still restricting access to the Internet, these economies would take more time in catching up with the “digital business era”. For those countries that restrict access to certain digital platforms (including social media platforms), it makes it harder for small and medium enterprises to engage in the digital economy or to compete with larger corporations. Drawing in new business investments also proves challenging. For governments that would like to see their digital economies grow, it is therefore worth looking at those components that need to be put into place first. For governments nervous about relaxing controls, they have to weigh that against the risk of missing out on the economic revolution taking place right now, and on the social consequences of denying small and medium enterprises a powerful tool that enables them to compete with established big firms and create a more equal and fair playing field.