Small and Medium Business Owners Summary Report
By Pitney Bowes
"Traditional and new digital marketing methods are co-existing to create effective campaigns. Business owners are integrating various channels in order to properly serve the needs of their wide range of customers though there continue to be barriers to integration for many."
Date: May 2011
Material/Activity Tested: Small and medium businesses attitudes towards and use of a variety of marketing tactics: Social media, email, direct mail, advertising, QR codes and mobile.
Methodology/Sample: From April 20th to April 27th 2011, an online survey was conducted among a randomly selected, representative sample of 500 American adults that are business owners with 1-99 other employees, and who are Springboard America panel members. The margin of error which measures sampling variability is ±4.4%, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
The majority of small and medium businesses (76%) state that their ideal marketing mix is a combination of traditional and digital communications.
Email and advertising are what respondents use most often (68% most often use email and 60% most often use advertising), followed by social media (50%), and direct mail (44%).
Advertising (43%), email (38%), and direct mail (36%) are deemed to be proven most effective with response rates, purchases, and more.
In the last year, the most popular new channel being added by small business owners is social media, with 20% of those surveyed just beginning to use it, followed by mobile marketing (12%)
The newest tool to enter the marketing mix is Quick Response (QR) codes. While some respondents acknowledge a lack of understanding and perceived complexity toward them, among those using them, almost half are using them on their business cards (45%) and integrating them in direct mail (44%).
Take-Away: The results are an indication that traditional and new digital marketing methods are co-existing to create effective campaigns. Business owners are integrating various channels in order to properly serve the needs of their wide range of customers though there continue to be barriers to integration for many.
Complexity rating of original source: 1 (Complex statistical analysis scale: 1= none, 2= moderate, 3 = difficult)
Sources: Pitney Bowes new release, Pitney Bowes Survey: 76 Percent of Small Businesses Believe Ideal Marketing Mix Includes both Physical and Digital Communications, May 20, 2011 and eMarketer, Social Marketing’s Benefits Rival Email for Small Businesses, June 6, 2011.