In a recent interview, Brian Sutter, director of marketing at Wasp Barcode Technologies, made some interesting revelations about small business marketing efforts. Based on data gathered from a survey he conducted, Sutter found that an astounding 56 percent of small business owners spend less than 3 percent of their total revenue on marketing. What follows are insights from the interview:

  • The number one reason small business owners don’t invest more into marketing is because they rarely have sufficient in-house staff to support efforts. Rather, they rely on low cost or free advertising tools.

Of those who do invest in marketing:

  • 61 percent take advantage of social media, namely Facebook, to get the word out about their companies
  • 46 percent invest in email marketing
  • Less than 30 percent take advantage of blogging, search engine optimization, paid ads and other modern marketing tools
  • 37 percent still rely on print ads while 32 percent utilize direct mail campaigns
  • 59 percent believed their website was partially responsible for their company’s success, while 24 percent agreed that their site was only somewhat essential to success.
  • 51 percent said less than 10 percent of their total revenue comes from the Web, while 23 percent admitted they don’t have the means in place to track and measure.

When asked how small businesses will impact the marketing industry Sutter stated, “Since many small businesses don’t have the staff in-house to execute on their marketing efforts, they will often work with freelancers or marketing agencies in order to supplement their lack of internal expertise. This should provide a significant opportunity to marketing firms that specialize in working with small businesses.”

Read more from the interview.


Kerpen, David. “6 Small Business Trends for Fall 2015”. 6/22/2015.