SMB Digital Marketing 2012: BIA/Kelsey Gives Research Insights on SMB Digital Marketing


Matt Booth, Charles Laughlin and Steve Marshall, from the BIA/Kelsey team gave some tantalizing insights from the LCM 16 results which will be available to their clients in the coming weeks.  Their findings will no doubt stir a lot of conversation at the “Best of Chicago” Reception sponsored by YP this evening.

For instance, it seems that 40% of SMBs purchase their online advertising themselves.  And as they become more skilled at using Facebook, they are focusing less on creating awareness and more on customer acquisition.

The SMB Digital sessions will have some key themes:

  • The “right” sale
  • Beyond advertising
  • Loyalty matters
  • Keeping it real
  • The Social SMB

They offered two more LCM 16 findings:

  • Ad spend is stable
  • SMB spending intent over the next 12 months = 36.3% increase!

(Acknowledging that what SMBs say vs. what they actually do isn’t always connected, they did say that they’d be checking back in a year to see if this pans out.)

With the exponential increase in mobile marketing (20% of the SMBs polled are now engaged), a result of either bundling media services or the doubling of mobile devices and SMB perceptual changes, the BIA/Kelsey team is watching that space with interest as well.

Up next – Nathan Hanks, president of ReachLocal, did an enthusiastic job of taking the audience through some of the key points that add up to his company’s “Five Ways to Win”.  From discussing the Proctor and Gamble anthropologists in China looking at how to sell products to consumers who make less than $2 per day, to challenging the attendees to be ready for 020, from advising them to remember that “Job 1” is to make the cash register ring to invoking “ROI or Die!” as his company’s battle cry, he quickly proved why his organization is experiencing strong sales and satisfied customers.

He also shared that his organization is striving to be more than a point solution and to have a “client first” attitude in this deeply competitive space.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for future updates from Hanks.

Patrick Barry, CMO of Demandforce/Intuit did a masterful job of taking the audience through an explanation of how applications and networks are converging to create new opportunities for SMBs.  He stressed that there are thousands of workflow apps out there with tremendous diversity and specific designs allowing clients to meet their needs for scheduling, tracking inventory, marketing products and managing staff.

He also reinforced the need for SMBs to work harder, with their providers’ help, to retain existing customers, explaining that it is 4-10X more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one.

Both presentations were compelling and I’m sure we’ll hear more about these trends over the next two days.

Now it’s time to catch up with some of our Local Search Association members and meet some of the new faces here at SMB Digital!

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