What are other Small Businesses doing?

For many, the question is when they will start using digital.

Small businesses in the US will not cut spending on most forms of online advertising in 2009, judging by a survey conducted in December 2008 by Ad-ology Research . A higher percentage of respondents said they planned to spend “about the same” in 2009 than planned to change their spending.

More small businesses said they would increase their spending on social networking than on any other format. And respondents were more likely to say they would increase spending in 2009 on e-mail and their company Websites than make cuts on those formats.

Change in Online Marketing Usage/Spending* in 2009 According to US Small Businesses, by Tactic (% of respondents)

The percentage of small businesses who said they did not use various online marketing tactics was high. Well over one-third of respondents said they did not market using social networks, their own Website or even e-mail. Less than one-quarter used more tech-reliant tactics such as online video and mobile marketing.

A lot of small businesses’ marketing efforts this year will focus on lead generation, according t

o a study conducted in December 2008 by Issues and Answers for the Yellow Pages Association (YPA). More than one-half of responding small-business owners named lead generation as their greatest challenge. Nearly one out of five said lack of ad dollars was the toughest marketing problem they faced.

Many respondents said that ROI was the main way they measured success for their marketing tactics. The YPA took this as an opportunity to note its online search results and print ad ROL.

Toughest Marketing Challenge According to US Small Business Owners, 2008 (% of respondents)

“Yellow Pages print and online listings received more than 17 billion searches in 2007 from consumers ready to make purchases,” said Neg Norton, president of the YPA, in a statement.

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