When people think of online marketing, they often forget that users spend a big chunk of their time browsing the net from their mobile phones – making mobile marketing the most overlooked branch of web marketing.

As Inc.com best phrased it, “in addition to thinking of mobile as a new advertising distribution platform, remember it’s far more powerful as a response, or ‘activation mechanism,’ to commercial messages we experience in other media, like print, broadcast, and more.”

Mobile marketing continues to be on the rise. According to Forrester Research, Inc., mobile marketing is a billion dollar a year industry. Most of the money is going into e-commerce where due to an economic downturn more and more users are shifting to e-commerce spending for savings in gas and for lower prices and quick comparison shopping.

If you’re an e-commerce business, you need to get on board with a growing trend. Forty percent of U.S. based interactive marketing agencies have incorporated mobile marketing into their services, with another 35% expected to begin in the next year. Agencies are expensive and if you’re a small business, chances are you don’t have that budget.

But you can still apply this method of online marketing to your business. I’ve collected a sampling of top mobile marketing sites to make the process a little easier for you…

iVision Mobile – Seeing the potential of a “market in every pocket,” iVision Mobile offers powerful text messaging software and mobile marketing platforms. With this clients can create interactive mobile campaigns, send text alerts, conduct mobile ads, create polls and coupons along with a host of other mobile-friendly applications that not only show your customers your relevance in a digital environment but also give them a way to interact with your company without being chained to a desk. The added benefit is that you can get powerful reporting and get a CRM system to manage data – making it easy to track your investment and progress.

E-commerce can also take advantage of M-Commerce and mobile payment options through iPayText and Pay by Phone M-Commerce solutions. Customers can create an account, purchase on the go through a text-to-buy ad, order and pay via text message, get a purchase confirmation pin and then schedule to pick up or deliver their item.

iVision boasts the capacity to cater to some top industries, as well as both small and large businesses. And with a diverse pricing plan, you can use iVision Mobile much like you would Facebook ad campaigns – by starting small and testing the waters or diving right in.

InvolveMobile – If your business wants to focus more on short coded and/or bulk text messaging, you should check out InvolveMobile. Using a database that lets you develop and grow your campaign, users can create and send bulk SMS messages that are personalized, configurable, schedule for any time zone and target based on desired filters. You also get a “complete mobile message trail,” or result-based report on campaign history.

Users can also export databases to Excel and import all data – making it a valuable marketing tool you can’t afford to miss. InvolveMobile also provides interactive text marketing campaigns that offer mobile coupons, contests, voting and analytics. Campaign costs start at just 2 cents per text message, plus a one time $75 setup fee and a $45 monthly fee, which includes: full inbound/outbound campaign functionality, CRM history and profiling, short code and keyword, 500 low priority text messages and web registration tools.

Golive! Mobile – Choice number three offers $100 million in mobile content transactions, millions of app installations and SMS options, as well as a staff of 120 across five countries. Golive! Mobile is used by top dogs such as Coke, Sobe, United Nations, Kanye West, the FBI and Disney – off the bat telling me that this is for a small business with a big budget and is interested in making it big quickly. It also offers small businesses a great association and boasting rights that they’re within the same league as these top businesses (at least when it comes to their mobile marketing campaigns). The diversity in their client list also tells me that it’s clearly a great tool across all industries.

With Golive! you’re not just launching a mobile campaign – you’re launching an interactive multimedia mobile messaging campaign from a state-of-the-art user interface that also allows for website integration and e-commerce marketing with Orbit Multimedia and a MobiCard billing module.

If you’re a small business with the big bucks to invest in Golive! but perhaps not the personnel to research and market it, then I recommend doing a test launch for the first 3-6 months with one of the other two options.