Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) may be among the last group to shift their advertising from traditional media outlets to the online format. But this shift has finally started. Kelsey Group reports that just over 3 out of 4 SMBs are now using some form of online advertising. And, in the last year, nearly 7 out of 10 SMBs also reported that they are decreasing their use of traditional media for advertising.152803_mathas_vineyard_antique_store

Steve Marshall, director of research, The Kelsey Group, says “The milestone of digital/online surpassing traditional media among SMBs is an indicator of the broad shift to online platforms.” The study also found that SMBs dropped total ad spending between 2008 and 2009. Researchers believe this is due to a combination of the general recession and the fact that online ad spending has been less expensive than using traditional media outlets for these businesses. Overall, online spending comprises about 36.8% of total spending of an SMB’s total ad budget.  Specifically, the typical SMB increased annual spending on their Web site from $608 to $769 during the past year. Nearly 1/3 of SMBs also use  the Internet to track online leads from search efforts and e-mail campaigns. Look for these statistics to increase as local marketers find new and more effective ways to spend their advertising dollars online.

[Source: Penetration of Online Media Surpasses Traditional for SMBs, The Kelsey Group, August 2009 release]