Marketing Stats That Sum Up 2017

There are lies, damn lies, and there are statistics, so the saying goes. We say that marketing stats have their place in any promotional strategy, albeit in a supporting role to whatever your internal data tells you about your business. 

As technology becomes increasingly advanced, so do methods of marketing across all realms of business, non-profit organizations, schools, and every other sector in between. Although it's common knowledge that technology is shaping life each and every day, not all businesses set these changes in the context of their marketing impact.

That's a knowledge gap that you can take advantage of as a New Year begins!

marketing stats 2017

Small Business Marketing Stats for 2017

Small business marketing stats are of particular interest. Even though small businesses have fewer resources to expend towards advertisements, promotions, and marketing, they're still very much involved in many of the same types of marketing large corporations and well-endowed entities all across the globe rely on.

This article examines some of the more eye-opening, impressive, alarming, and otherwise interesting marketing stats related to small businesses in the past few years.

Heed the lessons of the following small business marketing stats from recent studies -- it's possible you might uncover something that changes your entire plan of action for 2018!

Social Media Still Dominates U.S. Small Business Marketing...

While more individuals in the United States maintain social media accounts than do any size of business, still, a large portion of small businesses in our country include social media outreach efforts in their marketing strategy.

The marketing stats in 2017 show that 78% of small businesses used social media in their marketing campaigns. However, only 32% of all SMBs (short form for small businesses) invest significant amounts in social media marketing initiatives.

There are very few exceptions to the rule that small businesses should invest time and resources into social media marketing. 81% of all American consumers have social media profiles and many of them will use those platforms to find companies like yours -- or your competitors, if you fail to keep up.

...But They're Lacking in Tracking

What you measure you can manage but, let's face it, measuring return on investment (ROI) isn't always easy. When it comes to social media, however, obtaining accurate and meaningful numbers to gauge ROI for your social media marketing endeavors is more accessible.

With plenty of programs spread across the Internet to help small businesses make sense of social media advertising, marketing, and promotional performance, there's no excuse for small businesses to ignore statistics derived from social platform performance.

eMarketer has found in recent years that up to 60% of all small business owners failed to reliably track return on investment regarding any funds they've poured into social media activities. That money could be going down the drain again in 2018 if you don't have clearly defined goals and metrics that measure your business' progress towards them.

Most Consumers Research Small Businesses Online Prior To Purchasing

As large organizations, big brands and international companies have a wealth of information about them online. It makes sense, therefore, that most consumers would research their offerings and reviews prior to going through with purchases.

Even though small businesses don't have nearly as much information about them on the Internet, research indicates around three-quarters of U.S. consumers will try to research small businesses on the web prior to making a purchase online or heading out to visit a store in-person.

Online reputation makes a difference for businesses of every shape and size. Do you know how yours looks?

Two Things Matter More Than All Others For Most SMBs

With social media platforms being used by virtually every citizen in the United States - not to mention across the entire planet - it's important to delegate large portions of money to social media performance.

However, despite the importance of social media in today's world of commerce, the 2017 marketing stats show that driving sales and boosting brand awareness - ringing in at 51.3% and 48.4%, respectively - were the two most important priorities related to digital marketing for small business owners.

That means that even with the importance of social media and online reputation management, every marketing channel must still be assessed in terms of its contribution to brand value and, most importantly, the bottom line.

Ask questions like how does each marketing tactic move your customer closer to a sale?

Search Engine Optimization Still Isn't Sexy for SMBs

As most small business owners know, search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential part of being visible online.  This means developing links to and from credible websites, adding HTTPS website security, and hundreds of other criteria that search engines like Google use to connect users with content they're looking for.

Unfortunately, as important as those activities are for local business owners, they're also deathly dull to most of us. 

Although there are proven benefits to having your business' website appear atop search engines' results, research suggests that a mere 17% of small businesses invested in SEO in 2017. With tons of opportunity to excel among the crowd on search engines, your business should undoubtedly take advantage of search engine optimization's tried-and-true benefits.

Memorable Marketing and Web Presence Raises Brand Awareness

Without a website and memorable brand assets, it's difficult for Internet users to stumble across any meaningful information related to your small business.

Recent research conducted by Go Daddy found that a remarkable 60% of small businesses still don't have a website. Of that number, almost one-third said that creating a website would cost too much, while 35% indicated that their operation is too small to benefit from having an active web page. Given the minimal effort and expense required to maintain a basic web presence these days, both of those reasons ring hollow.

Regardless of size or sector, every small business trying to turn a profit should create and maintain a quality website. The same applies to developing brand assets, which should be frequently reviewed and refreshed.

Staying up to date with the latest marketing stats helps to inform your branding and build a better small business. The end of the year provides valuable respite for many owners and marketing teams to research what's new in the industry and come up with fresh new initiatives for the New Year.

What are your industry's marketing stats telling you in 2017?

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