Data from a recent study by the U.S. Federation of Small Business and DYMO showed that 36% of businesses who participated were minimizing marketing efforts to save some money in the weakened economy. I suggested that this probably was not the best course of action for pinching pennies.
"To me, it seems that marketing has never been more important for the survival of a business. For one, if you are not marketing, people might forget about you, or even assume that your business in trouble because they have not heard from you lately," I said. "Marketing shows potential customers that you are still there for them even in these rocky times. Secondly, you have to drive people to your business. How else do you intend to attract customers?"
Well, a new study from Constant Contact would suggest that most U.S. small businesses would agree with this mentality, particularly as we approach the holiday season. 76% of their respondents are planning holiday promotions and last minute shopping offers. This number has actually grown from the same survey last year, which saw 62% doing so. 63% of this year’s respondents have even begun their holiday campaigns already.
"There’s no question the economy is a cause for concern, especially for U.S. small businesses that rely heavily on holiday sales," says Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman. "However, in true entrepreneurial fashion, small businesses are fighting back. Small businesses recognize the value of focusing their marketing efforts to enhance communication with their loyal customers, as well as to attract new business."
So what ways are businesses marketing themselves these days? According to Constant Contact, Email Marketing takes the cake:
I should point out to those who don’t know, Constant Contact is an email marketing company, so it stands to reason that there is a good chance their respondents are already users of email marketing. That said, I have discussed at length myself why email marketing can be a great way to get targeted results.
"Email marketing and online surveys are catalysts to the success of small businesses in any economic environment, but they can make the critical difference in trying times," says Goodman. "History shows that small businesses have led the way to better economic times in the past, and we are confident that today’s small businesses will do so again.”
I would by no means stop at email though. Read this article for some tips on how to use Google to get some extra sales this holiday season.