SMBs to Embrace Digital in 2014

For most SMBs, investing in new hardware and equipment comes only after existing systems have reached the end of their economic life. Retiring expensive assets too early isn’t prudent for cash-​strapped enterprises. But, j2 Global, in its year-​end SMB Survey, has recently found that a  bakeryownersignificant number of SMBs are ready to move into a new era and this is especially true with respect to their marketing strategies.

Over 1,600 SMBs participated in this survey and nearly 24% indicated that they’ll be upgrading the way they handle email marketing. These companies are looking into email marketing automation.  11% will make a concerted effort to bypass spam filters and the new tab system in Gmail.  SMBs see the value of data integration and over 20% will focus on using email marketing in connection with social networks.

Nearly 29% of these enterprises will beef up their online presence this year. They’ll be setting up websites, in cases where they have none, or establishing an e‑commerce operation.

SMBs are also getting the message about mobile. Only 13.4% say they plan to adopt mobile best practices this year – this includes email and website optimization for the format. However, they are bullish on mobile apps and they either currently use or plan to use the following mobile apps in their business development and marketing strategies in 2014:

  • Facebook 70%
  • Twitter 43%
  • YouTube 34%
  • Instagram 16%
  • FourSquare 6%
  • Snapchat 2%

The focus on mobile may be particularly important given the equipment changes SMBs are planning. 18% are shifting from desktops to laptops, tablets and smartphones. And 23% expect to drop office landlines in favor of virtual and/​or mobile phones. These changes mean that SMBs will need to become expert in digital and mobile communications.

As they increase their digital marketing efforts, especially mobile, SMBs may find a ready audience with so many consumers now owning smartphones and shopping on the go.

To learn more about Small Business Owners, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.