Attention, email service vendors: Do you target small business owners by age as well as business category and past spending?
Maybe you should. Millennials are not only the most likely generation to advertise, but are also most prone to choose online outlets, according to The State of Small Business Advertising in 2019, a study by the Manifest.
And while it may seem counterintuitive, millennials are also the most active in traditional media such as TV. Of the small business owners and managers polled, 95% of millennials advertise, versus 92% of Gen Xers and 70% of baby boomers.
This may reflect the fact that millennials, who are younger, are in the process of building their brands. Also, they are just hitting their stride in business, whereas boomers are slowing down.
Of the millennials surveyed, 58% advertise online, versus 55% of Gen Xers and 31% of the boomers.
“Millennials grew up online,” says Tim Smith, director of communications and media planning at IPNY, the study reports. “To even reach them, you have to go online, and millennials understand that.”
In addition, 36% of millennials utilize radio, compared with 22% of Gen Xers and 5% of boomers.
Here’s one curious point: only 10% of boomers -- who seemingly would be attracted to traditional media -- advertise on TV. In contrast, 41% of the millennials choose TV and 17% of the Gen Xers.
The Manifest surveyed 529 small business owners and managers, 29% of whom were millennials, 40% Gen Xers and 27% boomers.
On a broader level, 87% of all small business owners and managers advertise.
Specifically, 64% advertise in social media and 29% online, mostly through Google search ads (53%), banner ads (37%), video ads (30%), retargeted ads (28%), and influencers (24%),
Email doesn’t seem to figure, but it stands to reason that millennials would use it, since consumer surveys show they have an affinity for the channel.
For example, as reported, a study by Pure360 shows that 59% of millennials prefer to hear from brands via email over other channels.
Given its high ROI and the fact that email subscribers are an interested target audience, email is a strong tool for SMBs, although a survey by Ripl last year found that only 17% are investing in email technology, compared with 55% spending on Facebook.
However, many email tools exist for SMBs, including the recently announced shoppable landing pages offered by Mailchimp.
Small business owners can use Shoppable Landing Pages to set up a landing page using a predesigned template, and add a payments block with a drag-and-drop builder, Mailchimp claims. Square deposits payments the next business day, it adds.
Meanwhile, the Manifest study found that 36% of small businesses use print, 34% with events and 22% TV.
Why do they use these traditional channels?
“Print, TV, and radio have been around so long that there is an innate trust factor for a lot of people,” says Josh Ryther, senior partner at Deksia, according to the study.
Going forward, 17% plan to start asking online media in 17%, an 15% print. In addition, 13% will turn to TV and 12% to social media.
Which social channels do small business owners prefer? They use: