If Digital Marketing Works, Then Why Aren’t More SMBs Using It?

BMI Icon Marketing Written by: BrandMuscle Marketing

Small business owners aren’t always satisfied with the results of their marketing efforts. When asked which types of tactics they USE and which they are actually SATISFIED with, the equation wasn’t always balanced.

As part of our The 2014 Brandmuscle State of Local Marketing Report, we compared how often local franchisees, dealers and agents used a variety of marketing tactics with how satisfied respondents were with those activities. Generating an index to make the average score equal to 100, you can see how various marketing tactics compare in the chart below.Tactics above the index bar in both use and satisfaction represent areas where local affiliates are finding and replicating marketing success. Tactics below the bar in both categories are the opposite: areas where franchisees, dealers and agents are limiting their use because they are unsatisfied.

It’s where we see a variance in use and satisfaction that is interesting. For instance, newspaper advertising is used more than average with an index of 105 but has a below average satisfaction index of 71. Conversely, online display advertising has an above average satisfaction index of 107 but is used by roughly half of our respondents giving this digital tactic a below average index of 87.

Is this a case of local affiliates sticking with what they know while the media and marketing industries change around them? Perhaps. But to be fair, keeping tabs on the shifting media landscape isn't normally on the top of a small business owner's to-do list.

The silver lining is that local franchisees, dealers and affiliates often have national brand partners to provide guidance – and co-op funding – to support local marketing efforts. National marketers can help their local affiliates by providing education about industry trends like the ones captured in the chart above. In addition, channel marketing managers can build co-op incentives based on marketing best practices and help replicate small business success.

What have you seen with your marketing efforts?  Have you shifted budgets to accommodate for digital trends recently? Let us know in the comments below.

For more information about how marketing tactics are being put to use local affiliates, you can download The 2014 Brandmuscle State of Local Marketing Report here.

Satisfaction Index Methodology: The Satisfaction Index compares the satisfaction with each individual media type with the average satisfaction for all media types. Overall, 65% of respondents were somewhat or very satisfied with the media types they use so the index benchmarks each media type against the 65% level of satisfaction. A media type for which only 32.5% of users were very or somewhat satisfied would have an index of 50 (half the average) while a media type with 100% satisfaction would have an index of 148 (nearly 1.5 times the average).

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