This article was developed in the USA with the subject: “Small Service Businesses: Advertising Attitudes and The Use of Digital and Social Media Marketing” has a really interesting perspective regarding the importance and use of digital marketing tools, such as e-commerce tools, in small businesses.
This article puts in a totally different perspective the use of this type of tools, by analyzing the advertising attitude of some small businesses, against the advertising strategies they use. The main belief of these businesses is that the investment in advertising is often seen as an expense, as opposed to way of generating revenue. This study analyzed why this kind of companies have this mindset, and understand their usage of some digital and non-digital tools of advertising. It begins by presenting approach taken to gather the data — an online survey — as well as a quick analysis of the surveyed sample. The survey results analysis followed, and ended with their discussion. It’s really interesting to see the obtained results, and the conclusions related to the position of these small businesses and the use of advertising.
How they did it
The survey was answered by 201 small business owners in USA. The author considered small businesses based on industry, sales volume and number of employees. 77% of the companies had sales of $100,000 or less, and more than 68, 7% had only one employee working in full-time or none. The impressive amount of 73% of the respondents was 51 years old or older.
The education level of the surveyed businesses owners was also taken into account, showing that approximately 76% of the respondents had some sort of college education, 14, 8% of which had a graduate degree.
What they found
Neither the company size, nor the owner’s gender, and age correlate with the individual’s attitude toward advertising. The only variable that is significant is education. The higher the level of education of the business owner, the lower the individual’s attitude towards advertising. Thus, they are more skeptical about the results of advertising.
Regarding the use of digital or social media marketing strategies by the owners, the data shows that:
· Only 30,3% have a company website
- Social Media is used by 24,9% of the service operations
- 23,4% engaged in e-mail marketing
- 30,3% use smartphones
Regarding the study of advertising categories per social media strategy, they conclude that there is a positive relationship between the attitude toward advertising and the satisfaction with the blog or social media marketing strategy. However, no relationship was found between having a website and the attitude toward advertising. This same lack of correlation applies to e-mail marketing.
What can we learn from it?
The results above show what is going on in American small businesses and it can probably be extended too many more small businesses around the world.
“One reason digital and social media marketing has grown so rapidly is the ability to measure results, especially compared to traditional advertising.”
The results are quite alarming, as this research shows that only 30.3% of the small service businesses had a company website.
“As society continues to move toward a digital economy, having such a low percentage of service firms conducting e-commerce operations is an indicator that these service businesses may not survive.”
Nowadays, small businesses face a huge challenge that is decisive to their future: investing enough in advertising in order to be able to compete effectively in the marketplace, versus the lack of data that supports the benefits of advertising. A direct consequence is that small business owners look at advertising as a cost instead of an investment. In addition, small business owners lack the knowledge and skills to apply and trust digital marketing strategies.
“Again, because of the popularity of smartphones, the Internet, and social media, consumers are spending more time on these platforms than with traditional media. Service businesses that fail to use these strategies may lose a large percentage of their customer base.”
Digital marketing is here to stay, despite where digital and social media users may be, businesses, and particularly small businesses, need to be present there or they will miss an important part of potential customers, losing them to the competition.
The online presence is as important as a good strategy in any social media network, at the right time and for the right audience. If the strategy is not well thought and executed, the investment return can only have loss as a result. Read the original article here.