Meanwhile the use of group deal services like Groupon, Living Social, and Google Offers is also on the rise. Twelve percent of respondents said they participated in these programs, with the relatively new Google Offers gaining on its big name competition at a surprising rate. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they plan to use Google Offers in the future, compared to 26% who plan to use Groupon and just 16% who plan to use Living Social.
The increase in the use of Facebook ads is especially interesting in light of two other recent studies that have been done about the effectiveness of advertising in certain contexts. A recent study by neuromarketing firm NeuroFocus found that people tend to engage emotionally with ads on Facebook significantly more than they do with ads in other places – be it elsewhere on the web or in real life, like in a newspaper. Meanwhile, a study conducted by marketing research firm eMarketer has found that ad spending has failed to keep up with the ways people spend their time. The study compared the time spent by American adults tuned in to various media – TV, the internet, their phones, etc – to the share of ad spending that each medium gets. They found that while roughly proportional amounts of money were spent on TV and internet ads, newspapers and magazines got vastly more ad money than the time people spend reading them would seem to warrant, while the mobile ad space is virtually untouched, even though people spend roughly 10% of their time there.
MerchantCircle’s study, then, suggests that small business owners are catching on to the ways people spend their time and to the kinds of ads that are most effective, and are spending their ad dollars wisely.