Chart: 76% of SMBs Prefer Working with 1 Marketing Provider

According to a survey of over 700 SMBs, three in four SMBs would prefer to work with a single marketing provider or individual, but the reality is about two in four work with 2-5 providers. That means for every four SMBs, one prefers working with a single provider but currently isn’t. Based on census data, that’s about 6.25 million SMBs in the US who may be open to altering their current marketing strategy in order to work with a single partner.

While these oversimplified estimates don’t take into account the do-it-yourself SMBs or those surviving off word-of-mouth, the takeaway appears to be the disconnect between what SMBs want and what they currently do. This contradiction between preference and the reality is representative of either the SMBs’ less predictable nature or the fact that those seeking one provider aren’t satisfied with what the market has to offer at this time.

None of this is to say that specialization has no place. In fact, the data goes on to say that one in four prefer working with multiple firms that each have expertise in a specific marketing area. However, those who prefer working with multiple vendors are likely on the larger side of the SMB spectrum, with larger marketing budgets.

While the entrepreneurial spirit of SMBs lends itself to a DIY mentality, it makes sense that many SMBs are looking for a trusted partner given the limited time they have to spare for marketing. Even digitally sophisticated SMBs are time starved and don’t want to become experts on digital marketing. The challenge for vendors is offering the right solutions, at the right price with a differentiated value proposition and a clear and understandable performance metric to support the investment (ROI).

The data comes from the 2014 “Local Pulse Survey” conducted by LSA’s research partner Thrive Analytics. To access the full graphic above, click here.

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