Small business owners wear many hats. They must refine the product or service they are smallbusinesscandystoreselling, create their organizations, and master the art of marketing. As consumers spend more time online, SMB operators must also become experts in digital marketing.

A Constant Contact survey published last fall showed that SMBs believe that websites (77%) and blogs (69%) are most effective at retaining customers.  Online ads (51%) and daily deals (53%) were cited as the best tactics for bringing new customers to the business. SMBs also have to consider how mobile fits into their digital marketing mix. At least 79% of SMBs say that they need a mobile-friendly site to engage both new and existing customers. 60% also believe that accepting orders via mobile allows them to retain customers. To attract new customers who are using smartphones, SMBs say that listings on social and location sites like Yelp and Foursquare are important and must be accurate (40%). QR Codes are another tactic that 32% of SMBs say can bring new business through the door.

The findings echo the results of the Small Business Marketing Forecast issued by Ad-ology Research earlier this year. According to that survey, 30.5% of SMBs will use mobile marketing this year and 23.4% plan to spend more on website development.

To learn more, check out the entire Small Business Marketing Forecast at the Research Store on ad-ology.com.

[Source: Small Businesses Favor Tactics that Balance Customer Attraction, Retention. Emarketer.com. 9 Apr. 2013. Web. 17 Apr. 2013]