Most small and medium-size business (SMBs) owners obsess about where their next customers are going to come from. To make sure they stay in the game, these operators are keeping their ad spending steady in 2012 and are seeking help with social media. This strategy holds true whether they are targeting businesses or consumers.
Constant Contact, which established itself as an email service provider long ago, recently surveyed SMB owners to determine which marketing strategies were working best for them. It turns out that over 80% of both B2C and B2B operators rate email as their most effective channel. The results diverge a bit after that. For B2B operators, in-person interactions (75%) and websites (72%) are second and third most effective. In-person interactions (64%) follow websites (72%) as the next most effective channels for B2C businesses. Also, 22% of SMBs in the B2C sector say traditional advertising is effective while only 10% of B2B SMB operators say the same.
Social media marketing is the fourth most effective tactic for 56% of B2C SMBs. This format is also where SMBs say they need help. Facebook rules for B2C operators with 83% calling the social network their most effective social channel. For B2B operators, LinkedIn is on the horizon for 25% and Facebook for 55%. All businesses in this survey noted the importance of social media but for many, implementing social media as a marketing strategy remains challenging.[Source: SMBs Hold Marketing Budgets Steady. Emarketer.com. 21 Aug. 2012. Web. 27 Aug. 2012]