Commentary

Small Businesses Planning Techie Marketing

According to the Ad-ology 2011 Small Business Marketing Forecast, small business owners are increasingly optimistic overall, and 46% plan increased marketing spending in 2011, up from 29% who planned increases in 2010. Email marketing and company websites continue to be the most popular online marketing methods, but 45% plan to do more with online video and 35% said the same for mobile advertising.

Interest in using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks for business is up considerably over last year. While generating leads continues to be the top perceived benefit of social media, more businesses recognize the value of social media for improving the customer experience.

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Social Media Sites Beneficial to US Small Business (% of Small Business Respondents)

 

Perceived Benefit (% of Respondents)

Site

Very Beneficial

Somewhat

Not Very

Do Not Use

Facebook

29.7%

25.4%

12.5%

32.4%

Twitter

14.6

17.6

14.0

53.9

YouTube

13.6

17.4

14.0

53.9

LinkedIn

12.9

20.1

15.2

51.9

MySpace

10.8

14.4

17.7

57.2

Groupon

7.6

8.6

12.2

71.5

Yelp

7.0

11.2

11.0

70.7

Living Social

6.9

7.7

11.7

73.7

Foursquare

4.3

9.7

12.8

73.3

Source: Ad-Ology, January 2011

C. Lee Smith, president and CEO of Ad-ology Research, says "... these businesses are putting more resources into video, and many of them are looking to jump in to mobile... becoming increasingly savvy on how to market with websites and social media... seem ready to try new ways to reach their customers... "

There are many objectives companies find social media outreach useful for, but lead generation was the top benefit reported, selected by more than half of small-business owners. The study also found that small-business owners reported that monitoring what is being said about their businesses a significant benefit. Improving customer experience was third in importance.

Social Media Benefits to Small Business (% of Respondents)

 

Perceived Benefit (% of Respondents)

Benefit

Very Beneficial

Somewhat

Not Very

Do Not Use

Generating leads

27.3%

29.9%

9.7%

33.1%

Monitoring what said about own business

26.3

27.7

10.4

35.6

Keeping up with industry

24.9

28.3

11.2

35.6

Improving customer experience

24.5

27.8

13.0

34.7

Competitive intelligence

23.8

27.8

11.0

37.4

Finding vendors/suppliers/partners

18.2

26.6

14.1

41.1

Resolving problems

16.6

24.6

18.0

40.8

Background checks

15.0

20.3

9.3

55.3

Recruiting

12.5

20.6

13.2

53.7

Source: Ad-Ology, January 2011

Other key findings from the study:

  • 56% of SMB owners project increased sales in 2011; just 39% said that for 2010.
  • 22% say they are frustrated by trying to understand online advertising.
  • 64% report having a website, up nearly 20% from the surprisingly low 53% last year
  • 50% say they plan to devote more resources to trade shows in 2011.
  • 15% say social couponing sites like Groupon and Living Social are beneficial to business.

For more information, please visit Ad-ology here.

 

 

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