With all of the new competition faced by traditional and new media companies, these companies are increasingly focused on developing new business anywhere they can. One potentially treasure trove of new business is with small and medium businesses (SMBs). As the economy grows out of the recession there are many new businesses being started, and these new businesses need to get their messages out through many different advertising channels!
Many of these SMBs, defined as having 99 or fewer employees, do not have the resources to navigate through all of the various options available in the wide advertising/marketing marketplace. Consequently, many media companies, both traditional and digital, are also providing agency type of services to these companies deciding what media to use and how much to spend.
While it can be very time consuming and expensive to deal with many of these SMBs, it is incredibly important for several reasons for all media companies to attack this area. First, collectively, we estimate they will account for over $50 billion of advertising spending in the local media marketplace growing to nearly $60 billion by 2019. The chart below shows that growth along with the growth of the other two segments of local media advertising buyers – national brands, and other local non-SMB businesses.
A second important reason is that while these SMBs initially may not be spending much initially, that spending will grow as the SMB expands its business. Being a trusted adviser to those businesses when they first start out will pay dividends in the long run as their business grows.
Figuring out how to most effectively service this growing segment of local media will be incredibly challenging. But, by focusing on this segment, local media companies – both traditional and digital – will have an important opportunity to prosper.