The Local Search Association recently reported that that small businesses on average use more than seven marketing channels. Our current 2015 Local Commerce Monitor ™ (LCM) Wave 19 also shows that for small businesses in our survey the average number of media channels used for marketing and promotion is more than seven.
The small business universe is diverse, which makes it hard to represent all small businesses and their buying behaviors. In our survey we also look at small businesses in two distinct groups: Core and Plus SMBs. Core SMBs’ annual advertising spend is less than $25,000 and have an average of 5.5 employees. Plus SMBs’ annual advertising spend is more than $25,000 and have an average of 20.9 employees.
When we look at each of these segments’ average use of media, a drastically different picture emerges. Core SMBs use an average of 5.9 types of media with minimal growth over the past three years, while Plus SMBs use an average of 12.9 types of media and that number has been growing.
Within our survey we track more than fifty types of marketing and promotional channels, including free and emerging channels. According to our data, Core and Plus SMBs are increasing their use of digital media, specifically social and mobile, more than their use of search, display and websites. As BIA/Kelsey’s Steve Marshall pointed out recently, social media has become an ecosystem for SMBs.