Small business needs to catch up with customers

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Your business may be the best at providing what you sell, but according to statistics, 74% of small businesses are way behind when it comes to marketing to their customers.

According to Yahoo, 97% of consumers and 92% of business search for products and services online before they make a purchase – even when that purchase is made at a local physical location. But, although customers are displaying an almost unanimous adoption of new technology, the businesses that serve them don’t seem to have clued in as yet.

With only 26% of small businesses having invested in online marketing, that leaves a whopping 74% virtually eliminated from the running when their prospects are searching.

Though as many as 68% have stated the intention of implementing some kind of online marketing, most have not as yet.

Why is this? While the mechanics of traditional marketing may not be fully understood by the majority of small business owners, online marketing appears far more overwhelming and far less relevant.

Many have no idea of the volume of traffic taking place daily on search engines and social media platforms, and many are under the misconception that these venues are the sole province of the younger generation.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Studies have shown that by far the largest user group growth on the internet are those over 35, with the Baby Boomers being the most represented. And, while some may still think of Facebook as a college kid phenomena, it’s not. In fact, Facebook has over half a billion users – many of whom are in the Baby Boomer category.

Facebook now gets more traffic than Google and between Facebook and Twitter there are over 700,000,000 users, with YouTube coming in at over 300,000,000.

And if that boggles your mind, you should see what’s happening with Mobile Marketing. The growth in Smart Phone ownership is growing at the rate of 20% per year.  Smart Phones allow users to access information on the internet: Google search, web sites, social networking venues.  Most businesses haven’t even started taking advantage of this.

Not to mention the latent power of text messaging. In the United States alone, (as reported by the CTIA in December 2009), the 286 million US subscribers sent 152.7 billion text messages per month, for an average of 534 messages per subscriber per month. The Pew Research Center found in May 2010 that 72% of U.S. adult cellphone users send and receive text messages.

If you’re at all interested in finding out how your business could – and should – be involved, then there’s an informative white paper available here: Check it out.  It’s important to at least find out what’s going on and what you can do for your business before you get left behind and end up finding your competition has bumped you out of the running.

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