Despite High Interest in Social Media Marketing, Widespread Inertia Persists

Significant opportunity exists for vendors to educate small business owners on social media marketing benefits, says AMI

NEW YORK--()--Social media marketing is growing among small businesses (SBs) in the U.S., but true breakout growth in this category is being challenged by SB owner inertia.

According to a new report by AMI-Partners, “2010 U.S. Small Business Marketing Activity and Spending Study: Where and How U.S. Small Businesses are Spending Marketing Dollars,” marketing program decisions are largely driven by business decision makers, such as owners, who are responsible for managing many other aspects of their business. This limits the amount of time they can devote to exploring and engaging social media. Consequently, a majority of U.S. SB marketing activities are likely to be on an automatic renewal cycle, benefiting traditional vehicles such as printed telephone directories.

AMI predicts that the effects of the recent economic downturn will lead to an acceleration of U.S. SB social media marketing adoption in the near term. “Overall these SB’s marketing activity in 2010 was down in comparison to levels in 2007,” said Don Best, VP at AMI-Partners in New York. “The greatest declines were in print, broadcast and outdoor media advertising; conversely, online media experienced an incline.” While a significant number of U.S. SBs are finding value in online media advertising, factors like variable costs, lack of understanding and the need for proactive management act as hindrances to widespread adoption. At the same time, however, more U.S. SB decision makers are expressing high interest in social media marketing.

The minimal cost of social media marketing has emboldened some U.S. SBs to experiment with this medium. “As the popularity of search and social sites continues to magnify among their customers,” said Best, “AMI expects U.S. SBs to become much more strategic concerning their online marketing activities, including social media.” Given the 6.3 million SBs that currently exist in the U.S.; this presents significant opportunities for vendors that can offer these SB decision makers tools to better utilize the web for marketing.

About the Study

AMI’s 2010 U.S. Small Business Marketing Activity & Spend Study provides an in-depth analysis of the marketing mix used by U.S. SBs including over 20 marketing channels with specific spending information for each. In addition, the study identifies trends around social media marketing and e-commerce activity.

The overall market sizing data in this report has been determined through an extrapolation of survey finds, secondary research information, and AMI-Partners’ proprietary small and medium business (SMB) Global Model and U.S. small business marketing forecast model.

This report includes:

  • SB Marketing Activities and Spend Analysis
    • Usage (Current & Planned) and preferences for traditional (e.g. direct mail) vs. new media (search engines, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
    • Current & Planned marketing spending on over 20 marketing vehicles
    • Importance of internet/online media in advertising and promotional mix
    • Analysis of marketing activities and spending based on firmographics such as employee sizes, verticals and other attributes
  • How SB marketing spend will evolve in the future
    • How the marketing spending changed over 2007-2010 and predictions of how they will continue to evolve
    • Identification and analysis of top small business marketing vehicles moving forward
    • Opportunity analysis providing guidance related to where and how IT manufacturers and service providers can help address the growing needs of small businesses

For more information about this study or AMI’s partner targeting solutions, please call 212 944 5100, e-mail ask_ami@ami-partners.com or visit www.ami-partners.com.

About Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.

AMI-Partners specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital, and actionable market intelligence — focusing on global small and medium business (SMB) enterprises. The AMI-Partners mission is to empower clients for success with the highest-quality data, business planning and go-to-market solutions. AMI was founded in 1996. Since its inception, the firm has built a world-class management team, each with ten to fifteen years’ experience in IT, telecom, online communications or multimedia.

AMI-Partners has helped shape the go-to-market SMB strategies of more than 150 leading IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services companies. The firm is well known for its IT and Internet adoption-based segmentation of the SMB markets; its annual retainership services based on global SMB tracking surveys in more than 30 countries; and its proprietary database of SMBs and SMB channel partners in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The firm invests significantly in collecting survey-based information from several thousand SMBs annually, and is considered the premier source for global SMB trends and analysis.

Contacts

AMI-Partners, Inc.
Media:
Quoted Analyst:
Don Best, 212-944-5100 ext 527
dbest@ami-partners.com
or
Media Relations:
In US (New York):
Nancy Carty, 212-944-5100 ext 581
ncarty@ami-partners.com
or
In EU (London):
Claudia Jachtmann, (44) 208 987 2756
cjachtmann@ami-partners.com
or
In Singapore:
Matthew Foo, (65) 6220 5535 ext 101
mfoo@ami-partners.com
or
In India (New Delhi):
Kuljeet Singh Abrol, (91) 9717741919
ksinghabrol@ami-partners.com
or
In India (Kolkata):
Jyoti Singh, (91) 33 4003 3093 ext 223
jsingh@ami-partners.com
or
In India (Bangalore):
Rati Ghose, (91) 80 4148 2661 ext 36
rghose@ami-partners.com
or
In China (Shanghai):
Venu Reddy, (86) 21 6390 6298
vreddy@ami-partners.com

Contacts

AMI-Partners, Inc.
Media:
Quoted Analyst:
Don Best, 212-944-5100 ext 527
dbest@ami-partners.com
or
Media Relations:
In US (New York):
Nancy Carty, 212-944-5100 ext 581
ncarty@ami-partners.com
or
In EU (London):
Claudia Jachtmann, (44) 208 987 2756
cjachtmann@ami-partners.com
or
In Singapore:
Matthew Foo, (65) 6220 5535 ext 101
mfoo@ami-partners.com
or
In India (New Delhi):
Kuljeet Singh Abrol, (91) 9717741919
ksinghabrol@ami-partners.com
or
In India (Kolkata):
Jyoti Singh, (91) 33 4003 3093 ext 223
jsingh@ami-partners.com
or
In India (Bangalore):
Rati Ghose, (91) 80 4148 2661 ext 36
rghose@ami-partners.com
or
In China (Shanghai):
Venu Reddy, (86) 21 6390 6298
vreddy@ami-partners.com