Running your business is more than a full-time job for a business owner. It can keep a whole team of people busy. Taking care of clients, appointments, products, purchasing, finances, regulations, facilities… the list is endless. It’s no wonder that more and more SMBs are choosing marketing partners who can help them with advertising and lead generation.

For those blessed with extra time, DIY marketing is available and can be pretty straightforward, though time consuming. For those of you who are already juggling flaming bowling pins, having a partner work with you on your marketing is a huge timesaver and security blanket. You don’t have to be a marketing expert if you’ve got a marketing expert on your team.

How SMBs Spend Their Advertising and Marketing DollarsA recent report from BIA/Kelsey, local media experts, shows that when it comes to spending money on advertising and marketing, small businesses are pouring their hard-earned dollars into relationships with firms who can “Do It With Me” (DIWM) or “Do It For Me” (DIFM). As you can see from the graphic they created, nearly three times as much money is spent with marketing partners as opposed to the DIY approach.

The study found that for these SMBs, “future marketing priorities over the next 12 months include SEM/SEO, print advertising, email marketing and social media.” And the top 3 most popular media used for advertising and promotion are Facebook page, website, and LinkedIn (see chart below).

Most Popular Media Used for Advertising and Promotion by SMBs
Chart used with permission from BIA/Kelsey, which retains all rights.

The rising popularity of services to SMBs was the topic of a recent blog post on TechCrunch, “Why Do It For Me is the Next Big Thing. Author Anthony P. Lee says, “We call it the Do-It-For-Me Revolution, or “DIFM” for short. DIFM is more than software. DIFM combines technology automation with specialized labor to deliver a complete solution to a business problem. It’s as much about people-powered customer service as it is about code-powered efficiency.”

For a great (and amusing) breakdown of all the various things involved in marketing your SMB, and the many ways it can get screwed up, check out this recent post on LinkedIn from Teena Brown, “Dear Business Owner, Stop Trying to do Your Own Digital Marketing“.

When advertising and marketing expertise, bandwidth, budget and technical skills are in short supply, working with a marketing partner you trust makes sense. The DIWM model establishes collaboration between SMB and vendor and increases the lifetime value of the relationship.