SMBs to Weigh Effectiveness before Adding New Marketing Channels

Most owners of small and medium size businesses (SMBs) do not consider themselves to be marketing experts. But succeeding in today’s marketplace often requires a business owner to develop an effective online marketing strategy. The vast majority of SMBs say they will be adding a new channel to their online marketing mix in 2011.  As they consider where to shift marketing funds, effectiveness is the top reason  for SMB owners to select a specific channel.

A recently released American Express OPENSmall Business Search Marketing Survey found that SMBs will likely add the following online strategies to their 2011 marketing mix:

  • Company website: 36%
  • Social media: 29%
  • Mass email: 23%
  • Search engine optimization: 22%
  • Search advertising (Google, for example): 16%

The AMEX survey focused heavily on search and results indicated that SMBs acknowledged needing help with identifying the right keywords (30%), tracking campaign effective (25%), and selecting the right networks (24%). Media companies targeting SMBs should know that the mean amount to be spent on search or social media advertising is $5,260.

SMB owners tend to manage their own search campaigns (47%) or use an in-​house marketing manager (22%). However 19% are turning to outside experts for help with this function. Media companies and agencies looking to increase their client base should promote specific factors in order to win new business in the SMB sector. Here are the top concerns of SMB owners when they decide whether to invest in a new marketing channel:

  • Effectiveness 62%
  • Cost to implement 60%
  • Cost to manage 57%
  • Ability to target audience 44%
[Source: American Express OPENSmall Business Search Marketing Survey. American Express. March 2011. Web. 5 Apr. 2011] 
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.