Nationwide, small businesses are struggling, and many are blaming bad marketing for their woes.
Among some 400 surveyed small business owners, 21% cited a lack of responsiveness as their
top frustration with marketing partners, according to the latest report from marketing agency Cargo.
In addition, 17% of SBOs charged marketers with “not understanding my
business,” while 12% said “poor customer service” was their biggest beef.
“There’s good news and bad for marketers in this year’s results,” said
Dan Gliatta, managing director at Cargo. “The good news is brands have improved in marketing to -- and connecting with -- SBOs since last year.”
“The bad news is there is
still plenty of room for improvement, as 44% of SBOs feel brands do not effectively market to them, which basically means 44% of brand marketing money is wasted in their B2SB marketing,”
according to Gliatta.
What is contributing to all the wasted spending? First and foremost, “brands really don’t understand the SBO’s true needs, hence the brand message is
not resonating with [them],” Gliatta explained. Cited by respondents as an even bigger barrier to growth than bad marketing is the rising cost of employee benefits.
Partly as a
result, a full 23% of respondents said they would not do it over again knowing what they now know about the difficulties of running a small business.
By Cargo’s estimate, there are
roughly 8 million employer-based small- to-medium-sized businesses in the United States. According to Gliatta, however, this only spells opportunity for brands that market goods and services to small
The best way to reach SBOs: The top three resources they cited for finding products and services were search engines (22%), business magazines (14%) and trade shows (10%)