Daily Archives: February 20, 2009

Small Businesses NOT Keeping Up With Online Presence

According to research from Webvisible and Nielsen, reported by Marketing Charts, though 63% of consumers and small business owners turn to the internet first for information about local companies and 82% use search engines to do so, only 44% of small businesses have a website and half spend less than 10% of their marketing budget online.The research finds an accelerating trend toward online media for local search. However, the report says the study uncovers a significant disconnect between the way small business owners act as consumers vs. the way they market their businesses online.

The survey found that search engines are the most popular source for finding local information:

  • 82% use search engines
  • 57% use Yellow Pages directories.
  • 53% use local newspapers
  • 49% use Internet Yellow Pages
  • 49% use TV
  • 38% use direct mail
  • 32% White Pages directories

Of those surveyed, 50% said search engines were the first place they looked when seeking a local business, while 24% chose the Yellow Pages directories.

92% of searchers say they are happy with the results they get when using search engines, though 39% report frequently not being able to locate a particular known business. This means, says the report, searchers don’t may choose to contact a similar business with a stronger online presence.

Webvisible found that online search and e-mail newsletters are the only forms of traditional media that are growing among consumers who wish to locate local products or services. Compared with two years ago, respondents report they use search engines and email newsletters more, while they use newspapers, magazines, direct mail and radio less:

Consumer Use Of Media Compared to Two Years Ago (% of Respondents)
Media Use More Use Less
Search engines



E-Mail newsletters



Yellow page directories



Local newspaper






Direct mail






Source: WebVisible and NielsenOnline survey November 2008, February 2009

Despite the growing use of online media for local searches, only 41% of small businesses report turning to online search engines first, and 31% turn to Yellow pages directories first. In addition, only 44% of small businesses have a website.

When using a search engine to find a business they know exists, only 19% of survey respondents report never or rarely encountering trouble locating that business online and 39% say they routinely have difficulty.

Though less than half of small businesses do have a website, the ones that do are not happy overall with their online marketing. Among those small businesses that have a website:

  • 51% believe both the quality and ability of their site to acquire new customers is only “fair” or “poor”
  • 30% of business owners feel that they typically do a better job of marketing than a close competitor
  • 78% believe they advertise in the same places as their competitors
  • Only 7% of small business owners say their primary marketing goal is to get more visitors to their website
  • 61% spend less than three hours a week marketing their website
  • 99% of small business owners are directly involved in the marketing
  • 65% believe it is very important to know where their customers come from
  • Only 9% are satisfied with their online marketing efforts
  • 78% of small business owners dedicate 10% or less of their budget to marketing Of those, 30% do no Internet advertising

 Over the past two years, 43% of small businesses say they have increased use of search engines in their marketing efforts. In contrast, use of traditional small business advertising mediums is on the decline:

  • 23% say they use the Yellow pages less
  • 42% say they use the local newspaper less

Courtesy of the Center for Media Research.

Top 5 Lies That Marketeers Tell Sales

whisperThere are a lot of very talented people in marketing. However, the sad truth is that many of them are still trying to market like it’s still the 1980s. They spend big money while adding little value. Whenever I run across such groups or individuals (and plenty of them leave comments on this blog) I find that they tend to promulgate five dysfunctional lies. To be fair, the marketers who espouse these lies happen to believe they’re true. But they’re lies nonetheless.

LIE #1: Branding is vital to your success. Marketing execs take everything that happens in a company (product design, development, call center, sales, manufacturing) couple it up with the stuff that marketing does (advertising, marcom, etc.) and call it “branding.” Then, because all those things are important, they convince the boss that “branding” is important and therefore marketing should get a bigger budget to oversee all the “branding” activities.
LIE #2: We can train you to sell. Selling is like sex; if you’ve never done it, you have no idea how to do it well. Many marketing professionals have never sold so much as a glass of lemonade, so they have no idea what customers want and how they think. The training that marketing provides is almost always product features and functions, which is of very limited usefulness, because customers, frankly, don’t give a rat’s rear end about features and functions.
LIE #3: Our market research is scientific. There are exceptions, but from what I’ve seen, a lot of what passes for market research inside most firms is simply Marketing figuring out a way to get somebody else to produce the smoke they want to breath. In any case, a great deal of B2B “market research” qualitative and anecdotal (e.g. focus groups) that lacks both validity and value.
LIE #4: We can handle the media. In the 15 years I’ve been a freelance writer for major national publications, I have run across about 4 marketing managers who were capable of working well with the media. All you have to do is look at the trash that passes for press releases in most firms. And what’s really pitiful is when the PR managers think that THEY should be the source. Clueless.
LIE #5: We are giving you good leads. CSO Insights recently conducted surveys of more than 2000 sales and marketing professionals. Get this: 85% of company marketers felt they were doing a good job generating quality sales leads. By contrast only 50% of the sales professionals in those same organization were satisfied with marketing’s efforts. The result of the disparity is fewer closed deals and less revenue. Ouch!
READERS: I’m perfectly willing to give Marketing equal time on this issue. Feel free to leave a comment describing some Lies that Sales Tells Marketing. If I get enough, I’ll publish them as a full post.

Courtesy of BNET.