About half of SMBs engaged in digital marketing devote at least 50% of their marketing budgets to digital, according to [download page] a new study from Inc.com and Vocus. And with more than 1 in 5 devoting at least three-quarters of their budgets to digital, it’s not surprising that they’re looking for tangible value out of their efforts. Asked to rate their most important digital marketing objectives on a 5-point scale (where 5 is most important), respondents indicated that driving sales (4.45) is most important, ahead of increasing brand awareness (4.36).
Beyond those top 2, SMBs are also looking to reach new customer segments (4.26), drive customer engagement (4.26) and identify usable customer insights (3.6). Interestingly, they’re less likely to be moving to digital marketing for efficiency reasons: achieving cost savings and productivity improvements is of lesser importance, with a rating of 3.14.
Looking at how larger SMBs ($1 million+ in sales) approach digital marketing, the results show similar priorities to the overall sample, save for the larger companies’ greater focus on driving customer engagement.
Websites Most Popular Tool; 1 in 7 Don’t Use Them
Results from “The State of Digital Marketing for SMBs” indicates that websites are the most commonly used digital marketing tool by respondents, who are digital marketing decision-makers at their companies. While websites are employed by a leading 87% of respondents, that also means that about 1 in 7 don’t use them.
It’s possible that those without a website are substituting a social media presence. More than three-quarters of the overall sample say they use social media, the next-most popular tool. Email also proves popular, with a significant portion of respondents using it for marketing/promotion (65.8%), customer service (61.3%) and prospecting (48.2%). SEO (53.8%) is also in majority use, as are videos and photos (54.6%) and blogs and white papers (52.7%), which speak to the popularity of content marketing.
Compared to the overall sample, larger companies appear to be more heavily invested in email for marketing/promotion and prospecting, SEO, videos and photos, paid banner ads, and mobile applications.
About the Data: Among the 408 total respondents, 196 came from companies with more than $1 million in sales.