A survey indicates that nearly one quarter of owners feel that their marketing materials do not reflect the quality of their products and services.
businesses have a positive long-term outlook and an eye on growth and
investment, according to the results of the fourth annual FedEx Office "Signs
of the Times" national small business survey released by FedEx Office, an
operating company of FedEx Corp. The survey found that optimism is on the rise,
with 63 percent of owners declaring confidence in their businesses' long-term
comparison, slightly more than half (54 percent) of respondents in 2010 were
confident in the long-term success of their business. With the rising
confidence level, decision makers are considering greater investments in their
business to support 2011 growth plans, including expanding product and service
offerings (44 percent) and hiring additional full-time and part-time staff (26
percent). Marketing and advertising efforts also continue to be a major
consideration for budget increases, with more small business owners considering
investment in these areas than last year-55 percent versus 42 percent.
businesses are a vital economic driver, and their outlook for 2011 is an
indication that the health of this business segment is getting stronger," said
Randy Scarborough, vice president of marketing for FedEx Office. "We are
encouraged by the commitment that we're seeing among small business owners to
assertively and strategically invest in their company's offerings and image in
order to grow."
2011 survey also indicated that nearly one quarter (23 percent) of owners feel
that their marketing materials do not reflect the quality of their products and
services. Moreover, nearly half of respondents believe they do not spend the
right amount on marketing and advertising materials, with 24 percent saying
they spend too little because of budget cuts and 23 percent indicating they
spend too much but cannot find a better deal due to lack of time or knowledge.
latest Signs of the Times survey also analyzed changes in small businesses' use
of traditional marketing tactics versus expanding online options. Fifty percent
of respondents indicated that they have experimented with social media to
market their business. In addition, 52 percent plan to improve their company's
online presence, and 45 percent said they will utilize social media and
networking Websites to grow their business. In contrast, 53 percent will
utilize traditional marketing and advertising materials, and 35 percent will
distribute their efforts equally between Web and printed channels.
emerged as one of the most differentiating characteristics in this evolving
marketing trend. Not only were younger owners (ages 18-34) significantly more
likely to consider a budget increase for marketing and advertising this year
(72 percent compared with 55 percent of the overall sample), they also showed a
stronger preference for Web-based marketing tools.
this evolution certainly reflects the growing importance of the Internet in our
daily lives, it may come at a cost," said Scarborough. "In the past decade,
businesses looking to reach their core customers flocked to the Internet to
break free of the traditional marketing clutter. Yet today it seems that Web
marketing may be just as overcrowded, and small businesses may struggle to find
their voice. Creative and engaging printed materials can help small businesses
better stand out from the crowd and highlight their primary capabilities."