Small Business Problems and Priorities

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SMBs already realize that they need a digital presence. It is one of the many small business problems and priorities on their to-​do list. At least 88% believe they won’t be successful without a digital presence. But do they understand what it takes to optimize their investment in digital marketing? That’s one of the topics that HigherVisibility analysts explored in their new Small Business Digital Marketing Survey.

Small Business Problems and Priorities: Ad Budgets

At the top of the small business problems and priorities list is advertising. SMBs owners realize that advertising done right drives business. Of the 500+ SMB owners surveyed by The Manifest earlier this year, over 91% plan to spend more on advertising in 2019, when compared to 2018. About half of the SMB owners participating in this survey indicated their ad budget is less than $50,000. That figure means they need to spend their resources wisely. At the same time, they have lofty goals. Over 32% expect their advertising investment to drive revenue.

Balancing the Cost and Value Equation

But SMBs also need to understand that digital advertising isn’t free. Media sales reps will need to explain the value of packages they are selling. A focus on value may help to convince SMB owners to spend a little more to balance out their small business problems and priorities. Currently, over 40% of SMB owners expect to see significant results once they pay up to $99 for a social media campaign. 

Another data point from the 1,000 SMB owners surveyed by HigherVisibility is that about half of these folks are happy to update their website once a year. Over 40% have turned to online website builders or they did the project themselves. If they had to turn to a professional, one in three SMB owners expect to pay less than $500 for a nicely designed website. That expectation can be easily updated when media sales reps show the value that a professionally designed site can offer.

SMB owners they told HigherVisibility researchers they hoped for the following outcomes from their websites:

  • Generate more calls and leads 20%
  • Build e‑commerce sales 23.3%
  • Increase brand awareness 38.1%
  • Provide directions/​location information to customers 14.9%

It’s likely that an SMB owner will need to pay more than $500 for a website that will truly impact the bottom line. Anyone who has worked with an online website builder has encountered the frustrating limitations these solutions provide. The end product is usually something far from what the business owner imagined or needs in order to stand apart from the competition. But websites are both small business problems and priorities: They need addressed ASAP.

SalesFuel recently surveyed over 2,000 SMB owners and found that about 23% plan to hire digital marketing experts this year. Working with professionals, these businesses will likely roll out impressive SEO, paid search and email marketing campaigns. To get an understanding of a client's current digital advertising efforts, run a Digital Audit. The report is available at AdMall from SalesFuel.

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.