SMBs Continue To Market Despite Revenue Shortfalls: Study

Small businesses are revving up their marketing budgets, including those for email, and holding onto employees despite a clouded revenue picture for 2020, judging by How 126 Small Businesses Responded To Coronavirus, a study by PostcardMania. 

Of those polled, 44% are either continuing or increasing their marketing, while 31% remain in scale-back mode, the company says. In addition, over 19% have increased their spend.  

  • We continued marketing at our usual/planned outflow — 31.75%
  • We increased our marketing to grab market share — 19.84% 
  • We stopped all paid efforts (digital ads, direct mail) and used only free (or nearly free) method like posting on social media and blogging — 17.44% 
  • We cut off/cancelled/pressed pause on all marketing entirely — 15.87%
  • We don’t actively market the business, so nothing has changed — 15.08%

Email clearly qualifies as a nearly free method. 

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On a positive note, 62% plan to maintain their staff head count at the level it was at the beginning of the year. This could indicate that they are dipping into savings, the company says. 

At the same time, 57.84% responded to orders to close by pivoting their business model in a way that would still accommodate clients. 

Another 12.70% simply closed. And 29.37% remained open, with no change in operations.  

The study also found that 40.48% applied for and received PPP funds. In contrast, 8.73% applied and remain in limbo, and 11.90% applied and did not receive funds. Another 38.89% didn’t apply. 

With or without PPP funds, companies are pessimistic about their 2020 revenue:

  • Within 5% of 2019 — 9.52% 
  • Down by 5-10% — 11.11%
  • Down by 11-15% — 4.76% 
  • Down by 16-20% — 7.94%
  • Down by 20-25% — 8.73% 
  • Down by 25% or more — 25.40% 
  • Up by 5-10% — 12.70% 
  • Up by 11-15% — 3.97% 
  • Up by 20-25% — 3.17%
  • Up by 25% or more — 7.94% 

The company surveyed 126 of its own clients.

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