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LocalEdge, MoFuse to power small businesses via mobile sites

The partnership’s goal is to help small and local businesses reach mobile consumers. LocalEdge is owned by the Hearst Corporation.

“According to a recent study we found, more than 50 percent of all searches on Google for local businesses are done on mobile,” said Annette Tonti, CEO of MoFuse, New York.

 “So it makes sense that small businesses need to be on mobile since their consumers are already looking for them on their mobile devices,” she said.

LocalEdge is a multimedia company owned by the Hearst Media Services.

MoFuse is a mobile web content management platform that helps businesses optimize their mobile Web presence.

Mobile consumers
The partnership lets LocalEdge’s clients use MoFuse’s services to build mobile sites.

Additionally, small and local businesses that advertise on Hearst’s newspapers can power their businesses through MoFuse’s technologies.

Hearst operates 15 daily and 38 weekly newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle and the San Francisco Chronicle.

“As we’ve been talking to advertisers, small businesses don’t have mobile sites and resources to launch them, so our goal is to be able to give them the tools to help them grow on mobile platforms,” said David Lewis, vice president of marketing and strategic market analysis at LocalEdge, Buffalo, New York.

According to Mr. Lewis, three mobile sites – a standard, optimized and custom version – will be rolled out for approximately 70 clients of LocalEdge.

“Small businesses are who our customers are, so it only makes sense to offer them these different mobile initiatives,” Mr. Lewis said.

“Since a large proportion of searches are being done through mobile, it’s something important all businesses should be looking to do, regardless if they are small or large,” he said.

Grow on mobile
The takeaway message from the partnership is not about offering mobile sites to media companies and clients. Instead it is realizing that small businesses have a prominent place in mobile.

“People are using their mobile devices to do virtually anything now, and combined with the hundreds of relationships that small businesses form with their consumers makes mobile the perfect place for businesses to reach users,” Ms. Tonti said.

“Now is the timing for small and local businesses to get a mobile presence while consumers are still learning with it,” she said.

Specifically with small businesses, certain mobile features are more important because consumers are primarily using their mobile devices to connect with a company through a mobile site rather than an application.

Significant features include business contact information, click-to-call functions and SMS programs.

“Mobile is all about location and what could be more important to small businesses than location?” Ms. Tonti said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York