Small business owners are increasingly optimistic and plan higher ad spending for 2011, according to numbers from Ad-ology's 2011 Small Business Marketing Forecast. This is the third year for the study, and in addition to increased optimism about the economy overall and their potential sales for this year, results show 46 percent plan increased ad budgets this year, compared to 29.1 percent who said the same for 2009.
Just like the big guys, small businesses plan to devote increased resources to online marketing, including website development and email. One notable change from last year's results: Last year's survey showed 47 percent of these businesses didn't have a website; that number dropped to 36 percent this year. The study also shows a big increase in the interest in online video and mobile apps and advertising. Interest in using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks for business also is up considerably. While projected online spending is up, these businesses also plan increased resources for traditional media types, including direct mail and newspapers. The increased overall optimism is great, and the ad industry should be happy to hear more news of higher ad budgets. The real take-away is the changing mind-set of the small business owner. They're becoming more marketing savvy, and clearly interested in leveraging their resources to reaching customers in new ways. Read the full press releases on this survey here and here; link to the 2011 Small Business Marketing Forecast report in the Research Store at Ad-ology.com.