SMBs Starting to Use Digital ChannelsWritten by Michael Levanduski
October 28, 2012 # 4:21 pm # Industry News, Specials # No Comments
Small and medium businesses have always had a different way of marketing than the country’s larger businesses have, simply because of the huge differences between them. However now, small and medium businesses are starting to adopt some of the methods of big businesses, when it comes to marketing. EMarketer recently released an article detailing the fact that small and medium sized businesses are, “adopting a multichannel approach.” Here is how eMarketer explains the situation;
Today’s small and medium-sized businesses are well aware that, in the modern marketplace, to ignore digital channels is to be left out in the cold. This growing certainty is reflected in data from a Q3 2012 survey of 300 SMBs in the US conducted by market researcher BIA/Kelsey, which found that 40% of small and midsized firms planned to increase their digital spending budget within the next 12 months. In sharp contrast, a mere 3.7% said they planned to decrease digital budgets.
Along with the 40% of small and medium businesses who planned on increasing their digital ad spending, 48% said that they were going to maintain the amount they spend, which leads me to believe that there are quite a few of these businesses that had already started spending on digital marketing prior to the survey.
The real point to eMarketer’s article, though, was to tell how small businesses have started to expand their digital marketing efforts. These businesses have started to branch out to many different digital channels, allowing them more effective marketing in the digital world. In fact, a chart from eMarketer’s article shows the growth of small businesses’ adoption of multiple channels from 2007 to the present. In 2007, the average number of media channels used by small and medium businesses for advertising was 3.0. Since then, a significant growth has occurred, as in 2012 the average number of media channels used by SMBs for ads is at 5.8.
The favorite media channel of these small and medium businesses comes to no surprise to me, as I’m sure it will not to you. A total of 52% of respondents said that they use Facebook to achieve their marketing needs. This percentage is more than those respondents who answered with newspapers, community sponsorships, email marketing, Google places, video, and online banners. As anyone who has a Facebook page can see, small businesses are starting to flood news feeds with promotions and advertisements, bringing them into a digital marketing world which they, for a long time, were reluctant to join.
There have, of course, been many businesses that embraced digital marketing from the beginning, and those small and medium businesses have always known the success that digital channels can bring. It was not until recent years, however, that digital marketing became absolutely essential to running a successful business, big or small. It is good to see that small businesses are grabbing hold of digital channels, but according to eMarketer there are still many that have not grasped mobile marketing yet. Of course, with time, small and medium businesses will see the potential of mobile and join in on that as well.