Small Business To Increase Traditional and Online Marketing

According to the FedEx Office third annual Signs of the Times national small business survey, small business owners are eager to lead the charge out of the country's protracted recession, with 72% saying they will be the driving force behind the U.S. economic recovery in 2010. 51% of the small business owners polled say their businesses have already, or will fully, recover by the end of this year.

This optimism is a marked improvement over the survey's findings last year, when 54% of respondents indicated they were very concerned about the economy's impact on their business. 18% of small businesses are considering an increased budget for staffing and HR activities in 2010, up from just 9% last year.

This study also found that 42% of those polled are considering increasing spending on marketing and advertising initiatives in 2010, and 30% say they may increase spending on sales initiatives. Both actions are specifically aimed at boosting customer traffic and revenues.

Randy Scarborough, vice president of marketing for FedEx Office, says "Small businesses are... identifying and investing in the tools that will help them bounce back... print ads, direct mail campaigns, online marketing programs, and a social media presence... maximize their budgets... connecting effectively with new and existing customers... "

Underscoring small business owners' firm belief in the value of traditional and online marketing and advertising:


  • In 2008, before the recession was fully felt throughout the marketplace, 41% of those polled were considering increasing spending on marketing and advertising initiatives
  • In 2009, with the recession in full-swing, 44% of small business owners reported considering a budget increase in that same area
  • This survey shows that 34% made cuts to their marketing and advertising spend last year and 31% say that decision had a negative/extremely negative impact on their business results


87% of respondents report that printed marketing/advertising tools are somewhat to very effective at driving customers to businesses, and 61% believe traditional marketing/advertising methods are more effective than Web-based counterparts at bringing in customers

44% of small business owners plan to grow business in 2010 by increasing communication with existing and potential customers via printed materials like newsletters and direct mailings. These entrepreneurs are also actively leveraging other traditional marketing/advertising tools such as:


  • Brochures (43%)
  • Yellow Pages listings (39%)
  • Flyers and signs/banners/posters (37% each)
  • Newspaper advertisements (32%)


The small business owners putting the most emphasis in this area may be older than most would expect. 18-34 year-old small business owners are greater proponents of signs, banners and/or posters (51% for 18-34 vs. 36% for 55+) and flyers/brochures (57% for 18-34 vs. 47% for 55+) as cost effective marketing/advertising tools than older owners.

46% of respondents have plans to grow business in 2010 by improving their company's online presence, while another 36% plan to utilize social media/networking websites to build business.

With many small businesses planning to enhance their marketing and advertising efforts across the board this year:

64% say their marketing and advertising materials are, at best, only somewhat consistent in terms of brand, messaging and overall design

23% of small business owners can't invest in improving these materials due to budget restraints

13% find that they spend more than they should because they don't have the time or resources to find cost-saving deals

To find more information from the study, and about FedEx, please visit here.

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