Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Study: Small Businesses Still Don't Embrace Digital

Big corporations may be rushing into digital marketing, but small businesses are dragging their feet and sticking with the tried-and-true, including direct mail, according to recent research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). As reported in Adweek, the consultancy surveyed 550 U.S. businesses with less than 100 employees and found only 3% of their total advertising dollars went to online channels. Compare that with big companies' commitment of up to 16% of the marketing pie to online efforts. The small businesses—including restaurants, hair salons and furniture stores—relied mainly on newspaper circulars and direct mail to lure customers, according to the study. Of course, most of the mom-and-pops had websites, but BCG did not count that as active digital marketing, seeing it as closer to a white-pages phone directory listing in today's digital era. So why the small-business aversion to digital? It isn't because small firms don't get lots of unsolicited digital advertising pitches20 or 40 a month, remarked John Rose, a senior partner at BCG. But small firms are rightly cautious about shifting dollars to untried promotional avenues, and they generally don't have a professional marketing staff to evaluate online opportunities, pointed out Rose. Instead they rely on peer advice, and too many small business peers apparently have been burned by digital forays. If digital marketers want smaller clients to come aboard, they are going to have to come up with a strategy to get "the right offers" to clients "in a way that allows them to figure out what’s right for them" is Rose's quoted conclusion. For the full article, go to http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/small-businesses-are-slow-digital-party-148029

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