Ad-​ology Study Reveals 80% of Socially-​Active SMBs to Increase or Maintain Advertising on Social Networks in 2014

Nearly 20% of small businesses expected to make greater use of email blasts

While many SMBs have been quick to embrace free postings on social media networks, one-​fourth of those active on social networks expect to spend more money to advertise on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter in 2014, according to the recently-​released Small Business Marketing Forecast by Ad-​ology Research.SBMF-2014-Infographic

Nearly 80% of social SMBs plan to spend the same or more advertising on social media networks. While nearly 41% do not currently use promoted posts or sponsored tweets, 13.8% of small business owners plan to spend more on these platforms in 2014.

The larger the business, the greater the use of advertising and targeted marketing tactics like email blasts,” said C. Lee Smith, president/​CEO of Ad-​ology Research. “Small businesses with at least 25 employees aren’t necessarily using social media to avoid advertising. They’re more likely to actually advertise on these networks,” he stated.

Email marketing continues to be a priority among SMBs. More than three-​fourths (78%) sent email blasts to clients and prospects in the past year, and nearly 20% plan to send even more in 2014. Use of an email service/​platform (Constant Contact, MailChimp, et al.) continues to rise, with nearly 42% using an email platform – up from 31% last year.

Nearly 4 out of 10 SMB owners who spend at least $1,000 per year on advertising indicate they will invest more in advertising in 2014.  Nearly 21% of SMBs say they will allocate more funds to direct mail. Other forms of advertising expected to see the greatest increases in 2014 include: Display banner ads, online video, mobile advertising, and suburban/​community newspapers.

Other findings from the study show there is room for improvement in some areas:

  • 31.1% of SMBs still don’t have a website; of the nearly 70% that do, more than 60% of them are not optimized for smartphones
  • Only 8.9% of SMBs are currently using online/​mobile video
  • Nearly 40% have no plans to use customer testimonials in their marketing efforts in 2014

The entire report is available at Ad​-ology​.com.


Now in its sixth year, the Ad-​ology Research Small Business Marketing Forecast was conducted December 2–15, 2013. The sample size for this survey was 1,169 small business owners and marketing decision makers across the United States with 100 employees or fewer.


Ad-​ology Research focuses on marketing research for local advertising, digital marketing and audience optimization. Ad-​ology also provides a free compilation of marketing-​related forecasts at MarketingForecast​.com, the Ad-​ology Answers monthly video podcast on iTunes and YouTube, and the Marketing Forecast smartphone app for Apple iPhone, iPad, and Google Android devices.


Sales Development Services (SDS), Inc., SalesDevelopment​.com – a Westerville, Ohio firm founded in 1989 – is the parent company of AdMall, SalesTouch CRM and Ad-​ology Research. SDS also provides the Marketing Forecast and Media Sales Today blogs for marketers, agencies and media companies. AdMall, SalesTouch and Ad-​ology are registered trademarks of Sales Development Services, Inc. Sell Smarter is a trademark of SDS.