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Who is Educating the Small Businesses on Online Marketing?

Posted by on January 13, 2009

Emarketer released some interesting stats about how small businesses are going to be distributing their online marketing efforts.  Take a look at this chart:


There are a few interesting takeaways.  First, around 25% of small businesses are going to be increasing their social networking efforts.  This number seems promising until you look at the percentage of small businesses that aren’t using social networking at all, 37%.  Second, out all of the online marketing channels listed, company websites are apparently going to see a 9% decrease in usage.  I found this interesting because blogs are usually tied to company websites.  Finally, looking at the whole “do not use” section shows that a lot of these small businesses are not really using a lot of these online marketing mediums at all.  I suppose this can be interpreted as either a huge miss, or as a huge opportunity.

Looking at the above graph, I started to wonder why so many of the small businesses out there are not making use of online marketing, alas the answer is below:


Generating new customers is by far the greatest challenge for small businesses.  Looking at both of these graphs tells me that a lot of small businesses are not using online marketing effectively but  are also struggling with generating new customers.  I interpret these charts and results as a problem in education and information in the online marketing world.  Here we have small businesses who are struggling to get new customers, and a very effective new customer medium (online marketing) that is not being utilized.

Perhaps small businesses are just unaware of the various online marketing tools and strategies out there that can lead to new customers.  In general we tend to focus a lot on the large corporations out there but perhaps we need to turn our attention to educating small businesses on how they can use tools like SEO, social media, email, etc. to generate new customers and increase revenue?

Combine this with a survey that was released by Cone Business which concluded that 93% of Americans believe that companies should have a presence on social media sites (with 85% believe that companies should use social media for interaction) and you can see that we have a real big gap.  Americans want companies to use social media yet a lot of small businesses are not (social networking, blogging, video, podcasting, etc.)

Why do you think we have such a gap?  What can we do to close this gap? How else do you interpret the information?

thanks for reading!

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  • I think many small business owners think that getting involved online will take away time and resources that they understand how to use in offline marketing efforts. Education is they key to closing the gap. With the right knowledge, small businesses will understand how to easy it is to use social media and online marketing to their benefit.

    Great post!

    • hey marie, i think you're correct. there is a gap between perception and fact in the online marketing world, especially for small businesses.

      glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  • Very useful information. I appreciate your interpretation of the data and sharing your take-aways for online marketing and small businesses. Dulcita Love @dulcitalove

  • Hey so I just found your blog on accident and I must admit that Ive been reading for the last half hour. Great site.

  • Hey so I just found your blog on accident and I must admit that Ive been reading for the last half hour. Great site.