Small Business Marketing Outlook for 2011 Is Looking Up

Check out the results of the Small Business Marketing Practices Survey to learn more. Small businesses are feeling optimistic about the economy— so much so that they’re increasing their 2011 marketing budgets. That’s the result of a new survey company, GrowBiz Media, conducted with the help of Zoomerang, a leading provider of online survey and polling tools.

The Small Business Marketing Practices Survey polled small business owners to find out about their marketing plans for next year. Entrepreneurs plan to increase their online and offline marketing budgets, with the biggest increases going towards e-mail, websites and social media marketing.

Alex Terry, Zoomerang’s General Manager, says the survey reflects business owners’ ability to adapt and use “different technologies to make the most effective and creative use of their budgets.” Social media, in particular, is in the spotlight: “This area of marketing is poised to see an incredible uptick in the next year,” Terry notes.

More than one-third of business owners responding to the survey already make social media part of their marketing mix. Of those who use social media tools, Facebook was the most popular, used by 80 percent. Next came LinkedIn (37 percent) and Twitter (27 percent).

Overall, 13 percent of business owners plan to increase their social media spending next year. Here’s where else they will be spending more:

  • Website                         + 17 percent
  • Direct mail                     + 15 percent
  • E-mail marketing         + 15 percent
  • Print ads                        + 10 percent
  • Online ads                     + 9 percent
  • SEO                                  + 4 percent

The bulk of small businesses’ spending increases is slated for their online marketing avenues. However, the one method most entrepreneurs say they rely on above all others is good old word-of-mouth. Eighty-six percent of business owners said word-of-mouth is important to their companies. Asked what specific kinds of word-of-mouth marketing matter to them, 70 percent cited in-person networking, 50 percent said customer referral rewards, and 34 mentioned cited social media.  Also significant: event marketing (21 percent) and public speaking (20 percent).

How does your business stack up against these numbers? What tools are you using—or planning to add to your arsenal in the coming year? Get more details from the Small Business Marketing Practices survey and see how you compare to similar companies at the Zoomerang website.

The Post is from Small Biz Trends -  Small Business Marketing Outlook for 2011 Is Looking Up

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo on the krakow market sq. created by smif on June 27, 2007, available under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Last viewed on Nov 10, 2010.

Last Updated: November 29, 2010

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