Small Businesses are Marketing More According to New Constant Contact Survey

Nov 12, 2015

According to a new survey by Constant Contact, Inc., the majority of small businesses expect 2015 to end on a high note, with 67% expecting their annual revenue to exceed 2014 revenue. The economy remains an obstacle, however, with 46% saying it is still taking a toll on their business. Despite this, small businesses are maintaining a cautiously optimistic outlook, with 78% expecting 2016 revenue to increase (44% are expecting an increase of 10% or more; 34% expect an increase of less than 10%). The holidays, however, are invoking less confidence. When owners of B2Cs were asked if they expect 2015 holiday revenue to exceed 2014 holiday revenue, 40% said yes; 26% said no; and 34% were unsure.

So what's the upside of challenging business conditions? Seventy-one percent say that external forces, such as the economy and increased competition, have forced them to become better marketers. And marketing is clearly a priority: 68% of respondents say their businesses are marketing more today than they did two years ago, with 60% spending more time on marketing per week than two years ago.

More than half (52%) say they squeeze in their marketing activities anytime they can, day or night. Twenty-four percent say they conduct their marketing activities anywhere by using their mobile device.  

More marketing activity does not necessarily mean an increased marketing spend, however. Respondents were fairly evenly divided when it came to whether or not they were planning to allocate more money to marketing in 2016: Yes - 34%; No - 35%; Unsure - 31%.

Small businesses are not traditionally early technology adopters, but they certainly think about which emerging trends might play a role in how they market in the years to come. When asked what trends they expect to impact their marketing the most in the next two to three years, these three came out on top:  video streaming, internet of things, messaging apps. Garnering less than a quarter of the vote: podcasts, sharing economy, web-rooming, showrooming, big data, crowd funding, wearables, and 3D printing