Marketing is of utmost importance to small business owners, but it is also one of the most challenging parts of running your business. Which marketing strategies should you use? Who should handle your marketing? How do you fit marketing in a small business budget? And is your marketing even effective? If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by marketing, it turns out you are not alone. A survey by LeadPages and Infusionsoft is revealing just how tough small business marketing really is.
The survey involved gathering opinions from more than 1,000 small business owners from across the United States. The ten-question survey asked about small business marketing in 2016, including goals, priorities, challenges and tactics.
Results show just how tough small business marketing is. Some of the interesting findings include:
- Nearly 47 percent of small business owners handle marketing on their own. That’s a big duty for someone who already wears so many hats.
- Nearly one in five small business owners don’t plan on using digital marketing in 2016. Digital marketing includes things such as websites, social media, digital advertising and email marketing – techniques that are popular among larger businesses but harder for some small businesses to manage.
- Over 20 percent of small business owners don’t store customer and lead information at all and only 24 percent use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
- Small business owners are challenged with measuring the results of their marketing campaigns. Almost half aren’t sure if their efforts are effective, and 13.9 percent know for sure that they aren’t.
Despite these statistics, small business owners are well aware of the potential benefits of a good marketing strategy. About half will be using digital marketing in 2016 to drive sales and brand awareness, and about one in three will focus on goals such as collecting leads and retaining customers.
The survey clearly shows how difficult small business marketing is. One potential reason is demonstrated in the following finding: “Most small businesses are still using a fairly unsophisticated digital marketing stack.” Fourty-one percent use only one or two software applications, and another 26 percent use three or four.
However, there are plenty of tech tools available for small business marketing, including tools to help manage customers and leads, tools to help measure marketing results, and tools that make specific strategies (like blogs, social media, and emails) easier to implement. Small business marketing is definitely one of the biggest challenges your company will face – it’s time to embrace the technology that will make it simpler and more effective.