PHOENIX and IRVINE, Calif., May 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- G/O Digital, the leader in local, integrated marketing, in partnership with Entrepreneur magazine released its latest research report: Crossing the Digital Divide. The report, which surveyed almost 600 U.S. small- and medium-sized business owners, identifies what factors are critical in guiding small business marketing investments and planning. The full report can be downloaded from godigitalmarketing.com.
According to the study, only 4 percent of respondents have dedicated marketing employees and lack in-house skills and industry knowledge when it comes to digital marketing. Almost 80 percent of small businesses spend 5 percent or less of their annual revenue on digital marketing, despite recognizing they need to leverage strategies like PPC and SEO.
When it comes to digital marketing decisions, small businesses currently find the most value in data-driven research to inform their day-to-day operations. In fact, 33 percent of respondents said they are most likely to share research studies with their colleagues and another 26 percent would be inclined to share product demonstration videos. This is in stark contrast to actionable tools, like ROI/marketing spend calculators, which came in much lower at only 17 percent.
"Small businesses want to maximize their online visibility and it's evident that without dedicated marketing teams and budgets allocated outside of marketing, every digital marketing action counts," says Raghav Mathur, VP of Strategy and Business Development at G/O Digital.
Before small businesses make the decision to spend money, a great reputation is one of the most important factors in the process. The study reveals that outside of pricing information, testimonials, references and peer recommendations are what small businesses find most useful when researching digital marketing solutions.
Additional findings from the study include:
- Small businesses are doing more with less. 76 percent of SMBs have fewer than 10 full-time employees, and 61 percent had an annual revenue of more than $500,000 — 12 years ago, only 45 percent could say that.
- Small Businesses are increasingly using mobile. When asked which device small business owners use when accessing business-related content, mobile/smartphones were on par with the use of laptop computers.
- Free resources and tools will make you a more attractive vendor. Almost 350 respondents said that access to free resources and tools was at least fairly important to their purchasing decision with a vendor.
- Price reigns supreme, but so does comprehension of the organization. Over one-quarter of respondents said that an understanding of their organizational needs and goals was the most important factor when selecting a vendor.
Research for Crossing the Digital Divide was conducted between November 12, 2014 and February 16, 2015 and included responses from 591 small businesses.
G/O Digital and Entrepreneur partner to bring small businesses a webinar on digital marketing in Building a Living and Breathing Marketing Strategy on Thursday, May 7 at 11am PT/2pm ET.
About G/O Digital
The G/O Digital vision: To Transform Local Marketing and #WinLocal.
For Local Businesses, G/O Digital, a Gannett company, is one-stop shop for local businesses looking to connect with consumers through digital marketing, from search to social and everything in between. For National Brands and Agencies, G/O Digital delivers local digital activation at national scale with push-button simplicity powered by G/O Digital brands: Shoplocal, BLiNQ Media & Key Ring.
G/O Digital partners with more than 5,000 of the nation's top brands and retailers, including P&G, Target, Walmart and Walgreens and leads digital marketing programs with thousands of local businesses across more than 110 local markets. For more information, visit www.godigitalmarketing.com and @godigitalmarketing.
About Entrepreneur Media Inc.
Entrepreneur Media Inc. is the premier content provider for and about entrepreneurs. Our products engage and inspire every day with the advice, solutions and resources that fuel the bold and independent way entrepreneurs think. Entrepreneur.com is the most widely used website by entrepreneurs and emerging businesses worldwide.
To learn more, visit entrepreneur.com.
Follow us on Twitter at @Entrepreneur, and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/entmagazine.
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SOURCE G/O Digital