MSP Opportunity: Mobile Event Marketing for Small Business
Small business and medium business that are involved in planning events (and more businesses of all sizes are realizing that “real world” events are a crucial component of all the online/social media brand building) are increasingly finding they want to market those events via mobile, but don’t know how. This potential niche for MSPs to fill was revealed in a recent survey from engagement marketing solutions provider Constant Contact.
There appears to be a considerable gap in interest level compared to skill level when it comes to mobile event marketing among SMBs. While 81 percent of percent of small businesses and nonprofits planning events expect to increase their use of mobile technology to market their events in the next year, 90 percent of these SMBs say they would like to learn how they can leverage mobile technology specifically for their events.
Mobile Event Planning on the Rise
Currently, only 15 percent of respondents report using a smartphone always, or frequently, for event planning. Of this 15 percent, 29 percent offer mobile registration and collect payments, 24 percent engage with attendees via a mobile device by posting event insights, learnings, or comments to social networks.
However, although 61 percent of respondents don’t currently use a smartphone, within the next six months 49 percent plan to offer mobile registration and collect payments, 23 percent plan to send “save the date” notifications, 25 percent plan to provide event schedules via a mobile app, 22 percent plan to offer a mobile check-in app and 17 percent plan to engage with attendees by posting event insights, learnings, or comments to a social network.
Some SMBs Resist BYOD
Despite the impressive growth of BYOD (bring your own device) policies at organizations of all sizes, the survey shows that many SMBs involved in event planning are not interested in BYOD. For the 13 percent of surveyed planners who said they were not interested in, or had no opinion about, using smartphone technology for future events, Constant Contact reports a common anecdotal theme was, “the smartphone I use is my personal phone and not a work phone and I don’t want to use my personal phone for business.” Readability was also a noted concern.
Current Events Benefit MSPs
This turn in current events among SMBs benefits MSPs. While most MSPs serving SMB clients probably do not specialize in managed event planning services, they should not have any significant problem in adapting existing mobile service offerings to meet the needs of event planners.
And of course any area where SMBs display a high level of interest but comparatively low level of skill is an area ripe for MSPs to provide services. Furthermore, MSPs can provide specific security services to help calm fears some SMBs have about using personal devices for corporate event planning needs. MSPs should start planning their own events – namely sales visits to SMB clients involved in events to promote mobile event planning services.