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SMBs Slow to Adopt Digital Marketing Tools; Not Sure About Social Media

by MarketingCharts staff
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Content marketing is also popular (83%), as is print advertising (77%) and PR (74%).

The most popular digital tool is SEO, used by 73% of respondents. Beyond that, SMBs are using a variety of digital tactics, including email marketing (72%), social media marketing (69%), digital advertising (61%), webinars (58%), and PPC (50%).

Social’s Worth Still Hasn’t Been Proven

The relatively low figure for social media adoption is surprising, and lower than in recent research.

Still, there seems to be a perception among SMBs that social media has not yet proven to be useful. For example, among the Act-On Software survey respondents using social marketing, 81% are using Facebook – but about 40% of those say they don’t know if it’s working. Similarly, 74% are posting on Twitter – but more than one-third of those are unsure of its usefulness.

Getting More Leads A Prime Challenge

The report – “Driving SMB Revenue in a Tough Economy” – also finds that the top marketing challenge for SMBs is converting more leads into opportunities, cited by 41%, slightly ahead of closing more deals from existing lead flows (39%). What’s interesting is that marketing programs aren’t being found to be prime contributors to the sales pipeline. In fact, most respondents said that less than one-quarter of their leads are attributed to a marketing program. The average contribution of marketing programs to that sales pipeline is 35%.

The study suggests that SMBs aren’t making enough use of marketing automation – only about 1 in 5 said they had implemented software that automates marketing and lead management processes. That compares to 56% who have implemented CRM technologies, and is despite other findings showing a correlation between use of marketing automation and revenue growth.

About the Data: