A new research report entitled “Crossing the Digital Divide” interviewed around 600 small and medium business (SMB) owners across the U.S. to determine what might be inhibiting SMBs from entering the digital marketing space. Given the major growth of digital in recent years, this question has become more pressing than ever, especially considering that (according to PRNewswire) small businesses are more mobile than ever themselves, with SMB owners using mobile and smartphone devices to access business-related content as frequently as they use laptop computers. Here are some key takeaways from the report:

SMB Digital Marketing Resources Are Notably Limited

  • Little revenue is aimed at digital marketing: According to the study’s report summary, almost 80 percent of small businesses surveyed reported spending 5 percent or less of their annual revenue on digital marketing.
  • Small businesses are doing more with less: The report found that around 76 percent of SMBs have fewer than 10 full-time employees, which cuts down on the time and resources these businesses have available to pursue digital marketing initiatives. In fact, according to the study only 4 percent of respondents have dedicated marketing employees on the payroll.
  • Small business marketing resources are slim: Overall in the SMB space, staff members who are qualified to take on the digital components of business marketing, have strong industry knowledge, and who are also available are few and far between at the moment.

Digital Marketing Is a Priority for Most SMBs

  • SMBs recognize the importance of digital marketing: In fact, although 80 percent of SMBs (as cited above) dedicate minimal resources to this marketing avenue, most understand that going forward they will need to leverage strategies like PPC and SEO.
  • SMBs want to maximize their online visibility: Due to the lack of resources most SMBs have at their disposal at this time that might help to boost their entry into the digital space (i.e., dedicated marketing teams and budgets), for this business sector, every digital marketing action counts.

The “Crossing the Digital Divide” report was the result of a partnership between Entrepreneur magazine and G/O Digital (a leader in local, integrated marketing).


Essany, Michael. “G/O Digital and Entrepreneur Magazine Reveal SMBs Are Just on Cusp of Entering Digital Space.” Mobile Marketing Watch. 5/13/15.