Small Biz Increase Use of Digital Marketing, Due to Customer Acquisition Successes

Small Biz Use More Digital MarketingThe biggest change in how small businesses go about their work this year as opposed to 5 years ago is through their use – or increased use – of online marketing tools, according to results from a survey sponsored by Constant Contact. Indeed, compared to 5 years ago, the adoption of various online marketing tools has soared: 98% of survey respondents now use email marketing (up from 64% saying they used them 5 years ago), while 87% use social media marketing (up from just 10% 5 years ago). And while finding new customers remains the chief concern for small businesses today, among those who are finding this task easier, a leading 53% say that’s due to more affordable online marketing tools.

It’s not all rosy for small businesses, though. 59% of respondents said that it’s harder to run a business today than it was 5 years ago, with the leading reasons being the economy affecting their business (55%), it being harder to keep pace with technology (49%), and more direct competitors (40%).

Local business owners may have a leg-up on the competition, though: 51% feel that being locally owned and operated is a major reason why their customers support their business today.

Despite their challenges – which include a belief that customers expect more from them today – small businesses are keeping an optimistic outlook. In 5 years, 55% see their business as thriving, with more customers and/or more employees. Another 26% see their business as holding steady, with only 8% taking the pessimistic view of the business potentially being closed.

About the Data: The Constant Contact-sponsored survey was administered in May of 2013 to 917 small business participants in the Constant Contact Small Biz Council – a research panel of US small businesses recruited from the Constant Contact customer base. The survey was fielded to those panel members who have been in a decision-making role in a small business for at least five years, and they were asked their opinions on how operating a small business today differs than five years ago. Results include responses from respondents across a range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries.-MarketingCharts

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