Here’s the prevailing attitude of small business owners toward marketing: Who needs it?
Half of all SMBs have no marketing plan for this year. And 86% of all owners would rather spend their time on something else, according to Stress, Time & Growth: Factors Affecting Small Business Marketing in 2019, a study by Outbound Engine.
Worse, 54.45% are devoting 5% or less or their annual revenue — perhaps as little as 0% — to marketing.
Come on, guys: How do you expect to grow your business? Are you among the 25% who have no idea how?
Be advised that 25.46% are allocating from 5% to 10% on marketing this year. And of those that did so last year, 81% experienced growth, compared to 50% of the firms that budgeted 5% or less.
The study wisely notes that few small business owners are marketers — 36% would rather spend their time on operations and 28% would rather spend time helping customers.
Still, 58.27% spend five hours or less per week on marketing, and only 5% go over 20 hours.
But they better wake up. Of those who spend the least time, 36% are unsure how they will grow their business in 2019.
To the extent they are active in marketing, few SMB owners think email is effective.
The study shows that 39.72% say organic social media was their most effective tool in 2018, followed by paid social posts (17%), events (13%) and traditional advertising (11.67%).
Email is deemed as effective by a measly 9.72%, although it still beats digital advertising at 8.06%.
What’s distracting small owners? Worry — 62% are as or more stressed about their businesses than they were in 2018, and 27% are more so.
Asked what is holding them back from achieving their goals, they answer as follows:
Another 20% answer smartly that they are accomplishing their business objectives.
The study advises owners to ask themselves these four questions, then answer them and act on the results:
Outbound Engine surveyed over 350 SMB owners.