The National Small Business Association (NSBA) recently conducted a poll to determine the confidence level of SMBs. Nearly three-quarters of respondents reported being somewhat or very confident about the future of their small businesses. Roughly half attributed their financial confidence to the new marketing and advertising methods they plan to use in the coming year.
The findings were unclear whether these new strategies will be implemented in addition to existing marketing and advertising campaigns or will take their place. From the study alone, it’s impossible to tell whether SMBs anticipate increasing their marketing budgets as they try new techniques for reaching customers. When asked how they planned to reach customers, the study found:
- New marketing and advertising strategies – 51%
- Internet/eCommerce expansion – 34%
- Strategic alliance – 31%
- New employees – 23%
Based on the findings of this and other studies, it’s clear that digital marketing channels will likely receive a hefty share of the 2015 marketing budget. In fact, SMBs have reported they’ll spend upwards of $12 billion in digital this year alone, with company websites, paid search and social media identified as top growth areas.
The NSBA study presented additional flaws that make interpretation difficult. Marketing and advertising are traditionally reported separately, as they can cover vastly different areas of spending. The decision to separate Internet spending from marketing and advertising also creates an analysis issue.
Despite only 34% of SMBs reporting a focus on Internet and ecommerce channels, it is likely that this survey understates the importance of digital spending in 2015. Building and maintaining a strong web presence will continue to be areas of focus for SMBs in the coming year. While the intention to spend heavily on digital marketing may currently be clear, this may not materialize as SMBs search for new methods to reach their customers.
With 75% of surveyed SMBs displaying confidence in the financial future of their companies, 2015 could be a strong year for advertising and marketing spending. Only time will tell whether this high level of optimism will translate to higher marketing budgets and expanded customer acquisition.
Morsello, Joe. Study: SMB Growth Depends on New Advertising & Marketing Strategies; Local Search Insider. March 10, 2015