As the holiday season approaches and the year winds down, I thought I would share some recent data on SMB media budgets. This data is from our Local Pulse survey conducted on 1,021 SMBs. When asked what the expected change in media budgets over the next 12 months would be, to no surprise, dollars would be shifted from traditional media to digital. Top areas that are expected to see growth include social, mobile, websites, and search. When asked the reason for the shift, SMBs responded they view these mediums as more measurable, targetable, and accountable than traditional forms of media.
[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]Accountable activities will dominate future budget growth.[/pullquote]
Digital media will continue to increase in 2014, as SMBs aim for performance accountability in every activity. SMBs are cutting activities they view as expensive, hard to measure, or low in ROI — in other words, activities with low accountability. Conversely, they are increasing budget areas they view as essential to staying competitive or as strategic — but the long-term measure of both is profit. This does not signal the demise of any one medium. Traditional advertising, for example, still accounts for significant share of all marketing expenditure. SMBs will integrate each type of media for what it does best and maximize results by weaving different media types into integrated campaigns. This is a critical point for Marketing Service providers because if they can show the value of their products and services, the SMBs will continue to use them. According to SMBs, the issue is current providers are not doing this effectively. Do you think this is the case?