Small Businesses and the Marketing Outlook

The issue of marketing is one of those parts of the small business question that can cause a lot of frustration and doubts among entrepreneurs.

However, if you go about it in the right way then marketing can be prove to be a tremendous way of growing a business and making it more profitable. So what is the current marketing outlook for small businesses?


image courtesy of tara hunt via Flickr

One interesting statistic that has recently come to light arrives from the email marketing firm Constant Contact. Their recent survey showed that 70% of small business owners have been forced to improve their marketing expertise due to external forces such as higher levels of competition.

Another figure revealed in this study is that 68% of small business entrepreneurs are now doing more marketing than they did just two years ago. Interestingly, only 34% of the businesses surveyed said that they plan to increase their marketing budget in 2016.

The Biggest Trends of the Future

The same survey also looked at what the entrepreneurs expect to be the biggest trends in marketing in the near future, not limiting them to just one choice. The biggest entry in this respect was video streaming, which just over half of the small business owners feel will play the biggest role in the future of marketing. 43% was the score for the internet, 37% think that messaging apps represent the future and 22% answered that podcasts are destined to be the most important factor.

Christopher Litster is the senior vice president of sales and marketing at Constant Contact. He said that it is exciting to think that some “seemingly advanced technologies” will soon be added to the daily marketing activities of many small businesses. The survey was conducted with a group of 893 US small business owners.

Another piece of research comes to us from the Marketing Tech Blog. In this case, one of the headline figures is that 75% of small business owners believe that internet marketing is effective in attracting new customers. One result of this is that 37% of those surveyed are planning to increase their budget for internet marketing in the year to some.

Among the other fascinating figures on here, we can see that 29% of the entrepreneurs say that they understand internet marketing enough to be able to do it all on their own. 28% are in the process of learning all about internet marketing, with the idea of eventually doing it on their own. A further 37% would like to have the time and the money to be able to learn how to do it. A mere 6% don’t understand internet marketing or else aren’t interested in using it.

When it comes to other types of marketing, 28% of entrepreneurs who responded in this research still think that word of mouth is the most effective approach. Email marketing came in at 10%, while mobile marketing and PCC marketing both scored 4%.

We can see some useful figures in the annual Social Media Marketing industry Report from Social Media Examiner. In this case, 92% of the marketing experts who work with small business owners say that social media is a vital part of their marketing campaigns. Meanwhile, 96% of those surveyed use social media marketing.

Facebook Still the Most Popular Social Media Site

With social media, use of Facebook is highest, as 93%. After this comes Twitter, at 79%. This difference is likely to be cut slightly in the next year, as 62% plan to increase their Facebook use, compared to 66% planning to increase their activity in Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. 44% of respondents are in their first couple of years of using social media for marketing purposes.

While Facebook is used by the majority of companies, many of them are unsure as how effective it really is for them. In this respect, 35% of them are uncertain as to how effective their campaigns are, while 19% feel that they aren’t effective.

This study took in a total of 3,720 marketers, entrepreneurs and small business owners from the US and further afield.

As we can see, the marketing outlook is more exciting and varied than ever before now. No matter how small a business is, it can take advantage of social media marketing, mobile marketing and PPC, together with the traditional approaches and other, emerging methods.

All of this can make it seem more confusing than ever before too. However, the basic principles of using marketing to attract new customers remain the same as always.

If you are still looking to get started with your marketing strategy then this YouTube video could help you get going. It covers 5 strategies that aren’t going to cost you a fortune to implement.

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