Online Media Ad/Promo Use Eclipses Traditional Among SMBs

August 21, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Local & Directories / Small Biz

For the first time, the small and mid-sized businesses using online media for advertising/promotion has eclipsed the percentage using traditional media, reports The Kelsey Group and ConStat (viaMarketingVOX).The ongoing Local Commerce Monitor study examines SMBs and how they spend ad and promotional budgets. The report also found:

  • SMBs reduced spend on ads and promotion 23.5% from August ’08 to ’09
  • Spend on websites and profile pages rose 26.8% in the same time period, despite a marked decrease in overall ad spending.

Specifically, penetration of digital and online media increased from 73% in August ’08 to 77% in ’09. Meanwhile, traditional media penetration lowered from 74% to 69%. (Penetration is defined as the percentage of SMBs using the given media, regardless of level of spend.)

“We have been tracking the trend of digital/online media replacing traditional media over four waves of the Local Commerce Monitor study,” said director Steve Marshall of research, The Kelsey Group.”The milestone of digital/online surpassing traditional media among SMBs is an indicator of the broad shift to online platforms.”Overall, unfavorable economic conditions compelled SMBs to decrease ad spend. This trend compelled them to substitute traditional media with lower-cost digital/online options over the long-term.

Ad and promotion spend fell 23.5%, from $2734 on average in August ’08 to $2092 on average in August ’09. Meanwhile, digital/online increased from 22% of total ad spend to 36.8% over the past year.Across the board, spend on web and profile pages rose by 26.8%, from $608 in ’08 to $769 in ’09.

The proportion of SMBs that use the ‘net to track and measure sources of new business leads (by click or email, for example) also rose from 22% in ’08 to 30% in ’09.Complete results of the study will be presented at next month’s Directional Media Strategies 2009 conference in Orlando.

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