Are your small businesses using the right marketing strategies?

BY Adam Ambro
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Millions of small businesses work around the clock figuring out how to best reach their customers. It can be a constant struggle. Trying to anticipate the right marketing strategies that’ll achieve success to keep up with the changing demand is no small feat. To start, it’s known that small businesses need smart website design, but more importantly, they also need to understand their clientele. A new report from Constant Contact shows how small businesses think their online marketing is doing with their customer base, and how customers view it as well.

How are small businesses currently marketing?

According to the report from Constant Contact, 84% of small businesses feel confident that they know what their customers are looking for. The survey showed that most small businesses rely on social media marketing.

  • 63% — social media marketing
  • 55% — website marketing
  • 52% — email marketing

But those numbers don’t quite align with where customers are likeliest to buy.

  • 34% — email marketing
  • 30% — text message
  • 20% — social media

Social media is still valuable for engagement and brand awareness, but you’re renting that audience and rent is going up,” said Patrick Gillooly, Marketing Director at Constant Contact. “Small businesses are unlikely to see the same level of growth once things normalize.”

Directly referencing email marketing, Constant Contact asked small businesses and consumers what type of email encourages consumers to make a purchase. Small businesses answered:

  • 30% — check-​ins with customers
  • 26% — business updates
  • 22% — coupons or discounts

Consumers replied with:

  • 67% — coupons or discounts
  • 33% — check-ins
  • 28% — business updates

Instead of planning campaigns around what you think is going to work best, set up indicators that can help you evaluate what is driving a business result,” said Dave Charest, Director of Content Marketing at Constant Contact. “Then, let the data be your guide."

Clearly, consumers will take action when an email message contains a discount or coupon, so make sure to share these findings with your clients.

What about automation?

Lack of time is a stressor for everyone in the sales world. According to Constant Contact, 72% of small businesses said that it takes them one to four hours to create an email campaign. That’s a huge time commitment for any small business owner. Therefore, one area small businesses could focus on to improve awareness of their consumer base is automating marketing strategies. The problem is, a majority, 55%, of small businesses don’t see the value in it and 22% believe it’s too expensive. If you’re selling email marketing services, this situation presents a great opportunity for you to pitch your clients on a new campaign.

Those that do see the value, ranked the benefits of modern marketing technologies:

  • 34% — improving customer communications
  • 32% — building a stronger relationship with customers
  • 30% — saving time on their email campaigns.

Consumer behavior is changing too rapidly for small businesses to keep up on their own. A.I. and automation are the secret weapons they need to become more knowledgeable about their customers and save time marketing to them,” said Jerry Jao, SVP of Advanced Marketing and Ecommerce at Constant Contact.

What should small businesses do?

"Our findings show that small businesses still have some work to do when it comes to understanding what's most important to their customers, and how to efficiently deliver value through their marketing efforts," said Laura Goldberg, Chief Marketing Officer at Constant Contact. "Consumer behavior is going to keep changing, but there are clear and realistic ways small businesses can keep pace and make their marketing work for them.”

You can help your small business advertisers evolve with the times by using AdMall, powered by SalesFuel. Share data from the multiple AudienceSCAN profiles on email responders. And don’t forget to let them know about the weekly limited-​time opportunities which may help them drive quick consumer action and boost their revenue.

Photo by Rachel Claire from Pexels