SMBs Believe They Can Self-Manage Most Critical Marketing Channels
March 22, 2016 | Contributed by: Greg Sterling
One of the interesting themes that has emerged in discussions and recent data is small business marketing self-management vs. outsourcing: DIY vs. DIFM. This has always been a topic in the industry but what has become clear more recently is that most of the market is DIY today.
Data from an InfusionSoft survey of SMBs discovered that roughly 71% were doing their own marketing. And we’ve found something similar in our own surveys and in other third party data.
Who does your marketing?
Source: InfusionSoft and LeadPages, n=1,000 SMBs (2016)
DIY marketing can often produce weak results, which can in turn cause SMBs to draw the wrong conclusions about a marketing method or channel. As I previously discussed, at our most recent LSA Bootcamp, we asked how many attendees were currently doing paid-search marketing. Two hands went up. But when asked how many had ever done paid search, nearly 40 hands went up.
I inferred from this that people had done it themselves and not had success and so had effectively given up on paid search or concluded that it didn’t work. I’m making a bunch of leaps in drawing that conclusion but I think the logic is correct.
Source: LSA SMB survey in progress (2016)
We’re in the midst of an SMB survey as part of a larger project. I pulled some data from a couple of questions to capture something interesting (above).
There’s an almost 1:1 alignment between the top marketing methods these SMBs regard as “essential” for online success and the methods they also believe they can manage in house. The one area that falls outside their DIY comfort zone is SEO.
Social media in the lists above almost probably does not include paid-social in their minds. When most SMBs think of social media they’re thinking organic (e.g., Facebook Page). The point here, however, is that they perceive themselves to be able to effectively manage the most critical marketing channels and tools with the exception of SEO.
This mentality may help explain some of the resistance faced by marketing services providers selling things outside of the critical cluster of marketing channels and tools (e.g., paid search). There’s more to consider and discuss but I wanted to share these results preliminarily because they point to something very interesting in the SMB digital marketing mindset.