The results are in from the survey we brought you last July in partnership with Campaigner and research firm Hurwitz & Associates. Respondents were small businesses with 1-20 employees, and shared how they are succeeding today and adapting their marketing plans and budgets to compete more effectively.
The survey found that small businesses expecting growth are more likely to spend more on marketing, and are shifting more of their marketing efforts from traditional media to online tools like social media and email marketing.
“The survey clearly reveals that the use of low-cost Web-based marketing tools is playing a strategic role in helping businesses succeed,” said Laurie McCabe, partner, Hurwitz & Associates. “Making a few changes to incorporate more online tools into the marketing mix seems to be a key ingredient to small business success.”
Key findings include:
Growing small businesses continue to invest in marketing
Small businesses expecting growth are more likely to spend more on marketing, the survey revealed.
• 65 percent of small businesses that expect revenue growth reported that they are spending more/or plan to spend more on marketing for 2009
• In contrast, 32 percent of those that expect flat revenues, and 36 percent of those expecting declining revenues are spending more/or plan to spend more on marketing this year
Small businesses shifting marketing online to take advantage of new business opportunities
Overall, small businesses are shifting more of their marketing initiatives from traditional media to Web-based tools such as social media (blogs, social networking, online communities/forums) and email marketing.
When asked which marketing vehicles they use most, the top four categories respondents cited were social media, email newsletters, search engine marketing and Webinars/podcasts. Traditional marketing vehicles followed, including direct mail, tradeshows and local newspaper advertising.
The survey also revealed that small businesses anticipating growth this year are more likely to be using or planning to use email marketing.
• 82 percent of small businesses that currently use/plan to use email marketing expect revenue growth
• 18 percent of small businesses that do not use/have no plans to use email marketing expect revenue growth
Small businesses are relying more on Web-based marketing tools to help them meet business challenges. Attracting and retaining customers (50 percent), growing revenue (15 percent), improving cash flow (9 percent) and maintaining profitability (8 percent) were the top business challenges identified by the survey respondents.
The first report of two reports – Small Business Marketing Health Check – is free and available for download at www.campaigner.com/lp/hurwitz.aspx .