Posted January 23, 2014 5:31 pm by with 2 comments

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SBMF-2014-InfographicSmall business owners don’t have a lot of wiggle-room in their budgets so how they spend their marketing dollars every year is a big decision. A misstep here could lead to red ink by Christmas but the right move could result in raises for everyone.

Marketing forecaster Ad-ology surveyed more than 1,000 small business owners and marketing decision makers to see how they planned to allocate their budgets in 2014. The answers might surprise you. They sure surprised me.

The infographic you see here is an overview of predicted spending. It’s a little small, so I’m going to pull out a few sections for a closer look. You’ll find a readable copy of the graphic here.

The title of the infographic says LOCAL advertising but it covers things like mobile apps and online video, so I’m not sure how they’re defining “local.”

What the chart doesn’t show is that 80% plan to spend the same or more on social media. For 41%, that’s 100% of zero, meaning, they currently don’t pay for promoted posts or sponsored Tweets.

Email is on the rise, with 20% saying they plan to send out more in 2014. Three-fourths of SMB’s are sending email blasts to customers with almost half using an email tool like MailChimp or ConstantContact.

Don’t count the post office out yet, 21% said they were going to spend more money on direct mail in 2014.

Direct Mail

This is the biggest area of increase out of 16 options. Next is online display and banner ads with 18.3% of owners saying they plan to spend more in this area. A close third is Online / Mobile Video. 15.2% plan to ramp up in this area, but more than half say they don’t plan to use this tool at all. That’s a missed opportunity.

online video adology

The same goes for mobile apps. 14.5% plan to spend more but 62.8% have no plans of even starting down this road. Crazy.

adology mobile apps

When I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I found this:

31.1% of SMBs still don’t have a website; of the nearly 70% that do, more than 60% of them are not optimized for smartphones

Seriously people. Worst case, build a free website on WordPress or Blogger. It’s not ideal but at least you’re giving new customers a chance of finding you. I can only think of one business that wouldn’t benefit from an online presence – Technophobia counseling. Unless that’s you line of work, you need to get that website up and running before the end of the week.

  • Faye_Oney

    Cynthia, nice article; thank you for sharing our stats from the report! “Local” refers to the local markets where SMBs are targeting their audiences. Online video and mobile apps can be used to drive local business regardless of who is viewing them. Thanks again for the nice article!

  • dessyanaiwan

    Great article!!