I read a very interesting article today that revealed some very insightful data regarding the way small businesses (1000 employees or less) are planning to use their marketing budget this year (2011). The data was collected by Zoomerang, an online service that provides sophisticated functionality and professional survey solutions to thousands of organizations around the world.
Zoomerang shed some interesting light on what we expect to see from small businesses this coming year, but more importantly, the mistakes I think some of these businesses are doing.
First the data:
- 54% of respondents indicated that their businesses currently have websites (Good).
- 17% of respondents plan to increase budgets for their sites in 2011 (Good).
- 15% of respondents reported that they plan to spend more on e-mail marketing (somewhat good.).
- 13% of respondents plan to up their social media marketing budgets (Too low of a number).
- 13% of businesses reported having a blog (Very bad, way too low).
- 34% indicated that they currently engage in social media marketing (I think this number should be higher).
- 4% of respondents plan to increase their SEO (Very bad)
- 80% of websites include general business information (I am not quite sure what it means)
The two things that struck me as odd are how low the blog and the SEO numbers are. It is funny because with no blogging, SEO will be low, and with no SEO, your website is practically a ghost. I do not discount the fact that blogging frequently and perfecting your SEO strategy take time, they do, but in the long run they are the best and cheapest solutions for your business. PPC is okay, but can cost a lot of money, and with 91,240,514 active .com domains already out there, you will need more than just PPC to make you stand out.
Another thing that struck me as odd is the “general information” (80%) vs. customer service and capture leads (45% and 35% respectively) data. Don’t you think it is odd? I mean, is “general information” more important than your customer? And, how do you define “general information” anyway? Does it mean you keep talking about yourself all the time? If so, no one likes to hear it. People are too busy with finding solutions to their problems. Hmm, maybe blogging about it will help?
In conclusion, I think Blogging, SEO, customer service, capture leads, and maybe lead nurturing (which, surprisingly, is not on the list) should receive more attention from SMB owners this year. It is cheaper to do, and generate a higher ROI in the long run.