Small business marketing is far from static. It is constantly influenced by a variety of factors, from the addition of social platforms to content evolution and competitive enhancements. There are many statistics out there surrounding small businesses and how they are – or perhaps should be – marketing their products and services. But how much of this data matters? How will it influence your marketing efforts in 2017 and beyond?
Here are 8 surprising marketing statistics that could change your small business in 2017.
Marketing Statistic #1: 76% of SMB owners face marketing challenges
This statistic is a bit jarring. Since marketing is at the core of small business growth, how can we succeed if the majority of us are facing marketing challenges today? It’s all about realizing, accepting, and making strides toward improving our weaknesses as small business owners. It is our responsibility to correct issues like these to better ourselves and improve our likelihood of success, whether that means taking classes, finding a mentor, or hiring a consultant.
Marketing Statistic #2: 46% of people read blogs more than once a day
Content marketing is changing rapidly. Gartner says it is on the decline, others say blogging is the foundation of successfully marketing a small business. Whatever side you lean toward, just know that if half of your audience is reading blogs once or more every day, you should probably be delivering them content in that format.
Marketing Statistic #3: For business with fewer than 5,000 employees, the average employment is 13 people
Let’s do some quick math.
If you have a handful of administrative and sales people working for you, your marketing team is likely limited. Perhaps you do not even have a dedicated marketing team, but people who know how to execute simple marketing tasks instead? That’s alright. Small businesses can be lean and still highly strategic and successful. This is where a marketing plan really comes in handy to guide your small team to success.
Marketing Statistic #4: While around 9% of all American businesses close each year, only 8% are opened
This statistic can be interpreted in many ways. It can be seen as empowering, deflating, or neutral depending on the number you focus on. Operating a small business can have benefits over working for larger corporations, such as a better customer experience, more loyal customers, and the flexibility to deliver more tailored products and services to niches.
This statistic shows that more small businesses are opening every year, which just means that we need to concentrate more on our core differentiators. It’s time to stand out and take calculated risks, especially when it comes to marketing.
Marketing Statistic #5: Nearly 50% of small businesses fail in the first four years
What a sobering statistic! If anything, this should push more small business to do better, plan better, and be prepared to overcome obstacles. Running a small business is hard. It requires long days, intricate planning, and impeccable time management skills. But you can still be a lean, mean, well-oiled machine if you make a marketing plan, optimize your website, and test different sales tactics to find the perfect formula for your business.
Marketing Statistic #6: Businesses without a marketing plan are more likely to fail
Let’s face it, small businesses without a plan are more likely to fail. Marketing plans are designed to guide and track marketing throughout the year. To measure successes more accurately and define what works and what doesn’t, we need marketing plans. Small businesses are under immense pressure to deliver the same experience – or better – than companies with hundreds or thousands more employees. Our teams have to operate more efficiently and strategically to succeed, and that is much easier to do with a marketing plan than without.
Marketing Statistic #7: 90% of B2B buyers say they never respond to a cold outreach
Cold outreach has never been a wise use of resources, especially for small businesses with small teams on small budgets. That is why inbound marketing has been the preferred method of success for so many businesses, large and small. Relationship marketing is a strong component of this strategy. Ultimately, your customers are your biggest advocates. When they are happy, they will advertise for you, refer you to colleagues, and purchase more from you when possible.
Marketing Statistic #8: 49% of small business owners aren’t sure if their marketing is effective, and 14% know it’s not
Out of all the statistics listed here, this one is the most surprising. The fact that nearly half of small business owners aren’t sure if their marketing is effective shows how little we value our businesses. Marketing drives sales, sustains growth, and improves brand awareness. It is a means of supporting our small business efforts.
If you know, or even suspect, that your marketing is not working you must do something about it. Make a marketing plan, optimize your email marketing campaigns, watch tutorials on social media marketing – whatever you do, do not accept this statistic! We must always be learning, improving, and implementing better marketing ideas to grow and prosper.