Small Business OwnerEver wondered how to spend your advertising budget?  If you are like most business owners, you want to be where consumers are looking for products and services.  But nowadays that seems to be a lot more complex to manage because consumers are using increasingly more sources to shop for products and services.

In a consumer study conducted by BIA Kelsey, they found that consumers are using 7.9 different sources to search for products and services1.  Today, the estimates are even higher suggesting consumers may be using as many as 9 sources to shop. What’s more, is that with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, consumers are always connected. With smartphones surpassing 125 million and tablets 50 million, consumers are constantly engaged with media2.  Consumers are accessing media at different points in the day using various devices. It is a multitasking world where consumers pay partial attention to several media channels and devices at once.  For small businesses, this means a growing need to be everywhere their audience is as well.

In an independent study by Borrell Associates, they found small and medium size businesses (SMBs) were using on average 4.7 media outlets to advertise their business3. In a second study by BIA Kelsey, they found that the number of sources used by SMBs to reach consumers has increased from 4.4 in 2011 to 5.8 different media types in 2012. For businesses with an average annual advertising spend of $75,000, they are using on average 9.8 different media types today4.

So how are SMBs planning to adjust their advertising spend to meet consumer demand?  According to Borrell Associates’ SMB Advertising Spend Survey, here are some of the predictions expected for 20135.

  • Online media will hold the number one spot in terms of local ad share, beating newspapers in all but four U.S. markets.
  • The growth rate for cinema advertising will be faster than online.
  • Local radio, local magazines, shoppers and alternative newsweeklies are expected to see declines.
  • Online targeted display ads to social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are expected to show explosive growth.
  • Streaming video is expected to make large and steady gains fueled by automobile dealers, realtors and SMBs making YouTube infomercials.  TV spots are being converted into 10 second pre-rolls on the Web.
  • Mobile advertising appears to be paying off for SMBs that have used it.  When asked, 83% of the SMBs using mobile campaigns plan to continue using mobile in 2013.


  1. BIA Kelsey, User View Wave VI, February 2010
  2. ComScore, Mobile Future in Focus, February 2013
  3. Borrell Associates, Inc,. Local SMB Advertising Spend Survey Wave 3, January 2013
  4. BIA Kelsey, Local SMB Advertiser Spend Wave 16, October 2012 and February 2013
  5. Borrell Associates, Inc., 2013 Local Advertising Outlook: Get Ready for the Rebound, January 2013