SMBs Expanding Their Media Mix

Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) know they need to advertise to increase sales. But the amount of money SMBs allocate for advertising and the way the budget is distributed across media channels varies significantly. In a recent study, BIA/​Kelsey identified a separate group called SMB Plus Spenders.

Here’s a profile of ad spending by these SMBs.

  • Spend at least $25,000 a year on advertising/​promotion
  • Maintain a website: 90%
  • Allocation to online spending: 26%
  • Allocation to broadcast media: 16.1%

The Plus Spenders devote more money to advertising than the typical SMB which reports annual budgets that range from $2,000-$3,000. And the typical SMB only spends 21.8% of the total budget on online formats and 1.3% on broadcast media.

Another key difference between typical and Plus Spenders in the SMB universe is the number of media formats used. Most SMBs use 3.1 media formats for advertising. The Plus Spenders employ 6.5 different media formats. Steve Marshall, BIA/​Kelsey research director says “SMB Plus Spenders are more performance-​oriented in making their media purchase decisions and do a considerable amount of lead tracking.”  As the Plus Spenders group finds  success in their ROI for marketing expenditures, other SMBs may take notice and begin upping their ad budgets as well.

[Source: “Higher-​Spending SMB Advertisers Use Diverse Media Mix.” BIA/ 24 Aug. 2010. Web. 31 Aug. 2010] 
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.