Apr 18

Does Your Business Have The Time To Get Online Marketing Right?

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The fewer people a business has, the harder it is to do marketing right.

Most small and medium-sized businesses don’t think they have the time or knowledge to manage their digital media efforts effectively, according to a new report from Thrive Analytics. 77% said as much, while 70% wish they could take advantage of digital media to help them expand their businesses and reach.

Is a lack of time preventing you from being able to take care of the marketing strategy you’d like to employ? Let us know in the comments.

The data comes from a survey of over 1,100 SMBs collected in January.

“The problem is most small business owners feel current marketing providers don’t have their best interest in mind,” says Jason Peaslee of Thrive Analytics. “Owners often feel marketing providers push “flavor of the month” products on them and don’t bother to learn what they actually need. Current providers are falling short on several fronts including poor product performance (60 percent), and poor service levels (55 percent). This contributes to high digital product churn rates (+40 percent depending on the product) and low satisfaction scores given to current providers.”

“Many smaller sized businesses have tried to go the Do-It-Yourself route leveraging their can-do spirit,” he writes. “However, they are falling short in a number of areas as well. Only, 55% have websites and those that do have websites don’t have mobile optimized ones (40% percent). Only 31% have a strategy to attract the mobile consumer and those that manage their own websites update them infrequently (58% percent every six months or more). This further illustrates the fact they need help as well.”

The report finds that 51% of small business owners have a positive outlook on their business for the year, and 31% are willing to increase budgets and invest in digital solutions if it makes sense for their business.

The biggest areas of anticipated growth are company websites, social media, mobile advertising, display ads, paid search, SEO, online video, and email marketing. Most of the categories with less anticipated growth are offline channels like yellow pages, radio, magazine ads, TV, newspapers, and outdoor advertising.

You can find the report here.

We recently looked at findings from BrightLocal, which found that smaller businesses are more afraid of increasing their online budgets compared to those with larger headcounts. Here’s a look at company size vs. planned spend on internet marketing in 2015 from that:

“From further analysis we can see that larger organizations are more bullish about increasing their online spend, while smaller (which make up the majority of our respondents), are less assertive,” said BrightLocal’s Ross Marchant at the time. “Not only is there a higher sense of uncertainty in the group, but there are far more who confidently say they will not increase their online marketing spend.

eMarketer is pointing to recent polling by Ebiquity for American Express OPEN, which despite Thrive’s findings that social is ranked as the second most effective marketing method, found that small businesses haven’t increased their social presences over the past year:

Businesses not utilizing Facebook more might be missing out on some serious clicks, as research from Nanigans we looked at earlier shows CTRs have jumped 260% over the past years as businesses take more advantage of video and multi-product ads. More on all of that here.

Is your business struggling with online marketing because of time and/or a lack of resources? Do you expect things to improve in the near future? Let us know in the comments.

Images via Thrive Analytics, BrightLocal, eMarketer

Does Your Business Have The Time To Get Online Marketing Right?
April 15, 2015

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