Sixty-seven percent of SMBs surveyed plan to create or improve their Web presence, including SEO and SEM, an increase of 7 percent from the prior year.
While opinions vary on the
pace of the economic recovery, 55 percent of small and midsize businesses
(SMBs) surveyed reported their business had either already recovered from the
recession or expected to recover within the next six months. Those numbers are
even more encouraging for businesses with 20 to 99 employees, as 62 percent
reported recovery now or within six months, according to a recent Valpak survey
conducted by Research Now, a market research firm.
Survey results indicated
business is picking up on Main Street, and in response, businesses are thinking
about what tactics to use to grow their sales-advertising, promotions, staffing
and more. An overwhelming number of businesses said they planned to increase
their business marketing/advertising activities to grow. When it comes to
advertising, every dollar counts for SMBs, and budgets are limited with an
average spend of around $17,000 annually.
According to survey results,
67 percent plan to create or improve their Web presence, including search
engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), an increase of 7
percent from prior year. Additionally, 57 percent plan to use social media
marketing (an increase of 7 percent from the prior year). Fifty-four percent
plan to increase direct mail and email marketing, 45 percent plan to implement
a customer-loyalty program and 36 percent plan to increase the use of deals,
discounts and specials.
interesting is the way our clients are adopting a multimedia approach to
marketing their businesses-combining the best of direct mail, online, deals,
mobile and social to create custom, measurable campaigns that fit their
business and their target consumers," said Michael Vivio, president of Valpak.
"Business owners are savvier than ever, but they are busy and want help
creating personalized programs that provide solutions to their individual
business needs-and that's what we have been doing for more than 40 years."
In a recent survey by
Schedulicity, a specialist in online appointment scheduling for small, appointment-dependent
businesses, 91 percent indicated they expect their business to perform better
than it did in 2011, while only 2 percent predict negative business results.
Survey results also indicated small-business owners understand the importance
of implementing cost-effective marketing tools to help achieve their business
goals in 2012. Social media, SEO and email marketing were ranked equally
important, notably over tools, such as direct mail, coupons/daily
deals and traditional print advertising.
More than 47 percent expect
much better results, and 44 percent rated their expectations as somewhat better
than last year. For comparative purposes, participants were asked to assess
their 2011 business results. Just more than half (51 percent) rated last year's
business performance as better or much better than expected, while 34 percent
reported earnings were on point with expectations and just 12 percent reported worse-than-expected
business performance in 2011.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.