Despite massive growth in digital marketing in recent years, new research from Brandmuscle shows that local small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) are struggling to adopt new media tactics when compared to their larger national counterparts.
Chief marketing officers anticipate 75 percent of their budgets will be allocated toward digital tactics over the next five years, according to Accenture. Analysts at BIA/Kelsey expect US-based social advertising will reach $15 billion in the same time frame. Nevertheless, Brandmuscle reports that social media and other forms of online marketing are still viewed as being overly complicated and time consuming by local small businesses, who continue to favor more established marketing tactics such as local events, direct mail and coupons.
“Consumers are shifting the way they make purchases, with some reports estimating that as many as 80 percent begin their search for products and services online,” said Clarke Smith, Brandmuscle’s chief strategy officer. “Based on our research, we see a big opportunity for national brand marketers to help local affiliates reach these consumers with digital marketing tactics.”
The 2014 Brandmuscle State of Local Marketing Report surveyed hundreds of local dealers, agents and franchisees across a wide range of industries and asked them to share insights about their local marketing experiences. Brandmuscle compared the results to trends identified by tracking over $2 billion in co-op and channel investments made by Brandmuscle clients over the last three years. The result is a comprehensive national survey on the current state of local marketing across social media, digital media, print media, direct mail, events and more.
Highlights of The 2014 Brandmuscle State of Local Marketing Report include the following:
“According to our study, the primary reason local affiliates avoid online marketing is because it is too complicated or time consuming,'” said Smith. “National brand marketers are in a unique position to help their local affiliates make the journey to online marketing, which when executed correctly can be both cost-effective and measurable — two key considerations when attempting to maximize the ROI of smaller budgets.”