Web.com ‘Small businesses consider mobile marketing crucial to growth’.

This article was so timely and amazingly well done, we had to re-post the highlights here. To view the complete article we have provided the link below.
In recognition of national Small Business Month, Web.com announced results of a Small Business Mobile Survey.

  • 69 percent of small businesses consider mobile marketing crucial to their growth in the next five years.
  • It found that while 69 percent of small businesses considered it critical, a majority had not taken full advantage of mobile marketing.
  • 82.2 million of the 234 million U.S. mobile customers use a smartphone. ComScore measures digital marketing.

The seven key findings:

• Key to growth.

Mobile presence is lacking:

  • The 69 percent of the small businesses surveyed who agreed that mobile marketing is a key to their growth said they will consider increasing their mobile spend this year.
  • While 60 percent of small businesses surveyed have a website, only 26 percent have a mobile-friendly website. Such websites have the same layout and content as the standard site but are adjusted to suit smartphone screens.
  • An even smaller percentage, 14 percent, of small business owners have a stand-alone mobile website, in which the content and layout is designed specifically for mobile purposes.

Mobile presence boosts business:

  • 84 percent of small businesses with a current mobile presence see increases in new business activity.
  • 14 percent have a stand-alone mobile website, of which 84 percent indicated that they have seen an increase in new business activity because of their mobile-marketing efforts.

“This alone serves as validation to make the move into mobile for the majority of small businesses that are skeptical to invest in mobile efforts,” it said.

 Mobile search strategies lacking:

  • More than 61 percent of small businesses currently do not have a mobile search strategy. Web.com said they are missing out on consumers trying to find them via a smartphone device.

Serving existing customers:

  • The biggest motivation to embrace mobile is to provide better serve to existing customers.
  • Asked to rank their top motivations to invest in mobile marketing, small business owners indicated their top three motivations were to provide better service to existing customers (38 percent), attract more local customers (36 percent) and gain a competitive advantage (34 percent).

Lack of time and resources:

  • The survey found that 64 percent of small business owners also are acting as their one-person marketing team. “This puts pressure on the small business owner to wear multiple hats and find the time to build a mobile presence besides running other aspects of their business,” it said.

Spending more this year:

  • The survey found that 64 percent of small businesses will spend more on mobile marketing this year. It explained that 64 percent of the small business owners surveyed expressed an intention to increase their mobile investments this year.
  • Another 33 percent indicated that their mobile spending this year will remain the same as last year.

b digital agency is proud to offer mobile website services. We can create a stand-alone custom mobile site for a competitive price and a 5-day turn around time. Even without a website, we can create a mobile site so don’t put it off any longer! Contact us today for a free consultation.

The survey was conducted online via social networks from April 5-12 among 500 small business owners, defined as those having fewer than 100 employees.Web.com Group provides Internet services and online marketing solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses.

http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=536571

Freedom Boat Club

Working with Chris Anders, owner of Freedom Boat Club is truly a pleasure. Marketing a boat club in a down economy is the kind of challenge professional marketers get excited about.

With Chris, we are working on publishing a new website and creating a new media mix. We have begun to air radio spots that drive traffic to a custom landing page called ‘www.joinfreedomboatclub.com So far the response has increased, but we have a long way to go. We will continue to work on new creative for both TV and radio, and are discussing our social media options, and adding video as well.

Freedom Boat Club is an incredible value and provides a unique service that we’re proud to represent.

At what point should you consider an advertising agency?

I heard a quote recently that I love:

 

As a small company, the question of whether or not to use an agency for marketing and advertising is one that is not considered often enough. I believe there is a misconception that agencies are expensive and that no one knows how to market your company better than you (the owner) does.  When you weigh the costs of bringing the marketing ‘in-house’ it may at first look like a cost-savings move.  But in fact, the majority of the time the media spend becomes less efficient and less effective, and some companies never fully recover.

With the advent of social media, there has been an increase in companies taking their marketing in-house. Now that this ‘free’ medium is out there which makes it easy to market, many are of the mindset that money can be saved, and real ROI can be increased.  We’re all for that, and it’s a big part of our ‘tradigital’ strategy, but often the savings of in-house marketing is lost in wasted efforts that deliver poor results, as many find out that social media is not so easy, and generating results is not ‘free’.

In addition, many owners and employees fall victim to the old adage, ‘you’re too close to the forest to see the trees’.  By this we mean that many owners often do the advertising or marketing that they like the best, not necessarily the one that their audience likes the best.  We always start with the target market (demo) and the available budget and work it backwards to insure that we’re buying the most cost-effective media that delivers the largest share of your audience, combined with the best strategy (why buy) with tactics (why buy now). 

Many times as an agency we find that the owners and those who are responsible for marketing really do have the right ideas, but it’s a matter of pulling out the best ones, and then executing on the back-end. Ultimately a collaborative process yields the best results, combining the best ideas, with proven copy writing and creative production that delivers results.  Add that to the buying power of any good agency, and you can also significantly save on the cost of the media.

An article written years ago by Tony Benjamin still has just as much merit today as it does when it was written. It’s entitled 10 Reasons to Think Small, as in a ‘small agency’. Here are the 10 points:

1. You get better creative
2. Small agencies are less expensive
3. Substance over surface
4. Clients are more important to small shops
5. At small agencies people aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty
6. Small agencies are apolitical
7. Small agencies are faster
8. Small agencies are friendlier
9. Small agencies make a client’s budget go further
10. Small agencies need every client

Future posts will elaborate on each one of these points, but if you own a company or are tasked with the marketing and advertising success of that company, pick up the phone and give your local small ad agency a call (our number is 561-683-0404…shameless plug!).  Most often an initial consultation is free, and you can determine if they are the right fit is for you.

We consider our agency to be an extension of your company. When you work with us, it’s like partnering with another company that is focused on one task – increasing business through the message you convey. The goal is to allow us to do our job, and in turn let you focus on your job of running the company, and growing your company.

Don’t think you’re too small for an agency, the money you think you’re saving could be costing you a great deal. To schedule a free consultation with b digital, please visit us online at bdigitalagency.com (A division of Baldrica Advertising and Marketing) or call 561-683-0404

Champagne taste on a beer budget! 5 questions for establishing your marketing budget.

When we first meet with a prospect, we use a comprehensive list of questions to discover their needs, goals and wishes. Often the list of wishes is full of creativity and aspirations that make a lot of sense, and it becomes our job to craft the best plan to bring them to fruition.
Once we have that, it’s not long before we ask the dreaded question…what’s your budget?

“A good marketing budget should always mirror the goals of the organization–no matter how aggressive or conservative they may be”.

In our experience, less than 5% of the time do we get an answer we can work with. Typically the company doesn’t know, and most times when they do have a number in mind, or on paper, it does not match up with either their goals or expectations.

As marketers, we are the ‘doctors’ who are trained to make the best recommendation possible. Our recommendations are based first on meeting the goals or objectives of the company. The budget is determined by those expectations. The problem is when we come back with a campaign that far exceeds the investment the advertiser was willing to make.

To try and get ahead of this, we often give clients a range, based on their goals that they can expect to allocate. To help clients better understand how we create a plan, you can ask yourself these questions:

1) Who are the customers you’re trying to reach through advertising and marketing?
2) What stage of business are you in? Do you need to attract new customers, or create
a strong brand that keeps the old ones coming back? What are your objectives?
3) How much do you think your competitors are spending on marketing?
4) How much have you spent in the past, and did you get results?
5) How much can you realistically spend?

That last bullet point can seem a bit overwhelming. As an industry standard, it’s good start with 10% of the projected gross income or go off of last year’s numbers. This amount may be more than you need to achieve a particular objective, but in the course of the year, if you’re able to allocate and commit to this amount, you should achieve the marketing goals you set out for.

If however you have highly aggressive goals and attempting to reach a very large market, any agency worth their weight should be able to tell you if your budget is in line to achieve those goals, or if you need to adjust them, which may include not only reducing your forecasts, but also extending the length of time you will require to accomplish those goals.

“Even in recessionary times, it is wise to keep the marketing budget intact. Yet, it’s often the first thing to be cut when times get rough. However, it’s been proven that cutting back on marketing will mean losing out on even more profits.”

The key point is the newer your brand or company, the more effort and thus corresponding budget you should allocate. A rocket trying to take-off, experiences the majority of its resistance when first trying to get off the ground. According to the SBA (in addition to other reputable studies) 70% of new firms with at least one employee survive for at least 2 years. About 50% go on for 5 years. Meaning half of all businesses fail within 5 years.

There are several key factors for business failure, and one that often is cited is that most companies allocate all of their money into the resources it takes to ‘open the doors’. But then once the doors are open, nobody knows they’re there.

Be realistic, marketing and advertising, even in the age of social media take time, and money, and professionals in many cases in order to reduce waste and maximize your budget. Being penny foolish and pound wise with your marketing and advertising budget has shuttered many companies both big and small.

Social ROI – I’m not getting any!

There are many challenges faced by today’s business owner. In addition to the things you learn in school like, cash flow, inventory, pricing, policies and all that other fun stuff, you now are concerned with the ROI of your social media campaign.

This is one topic that even polarizes the professional marketing community with recommendations at both ends of the spectrum. This is disappointing since business owners look to us for the best advice, and hearing two different messages can be cause for concern or even doubt.
The position we take, is the same one we take when it comes to outbound advertising, ‘it takes two to tango’! Now, a quick disclaimer…I’m no dancer, but I feel the analogy works here. You can dance by yourself, and some people can make it look good, but with the right partner, everything comes together.
Those who say there is no room in Social for ‘direct response’ ads are wrong. There, I said it, but here’s the proof:


The number one reason, garnering 40% of the audience polled is ‘to receive discounts and promotions’. Nothing new here, folks are just trying to get the best deal, and stretch their dollars in a difficult economy. Are these loyal fans that love to look at your funny posts, or engage in a conversation about your new organic products that save the Earth? Maybe, maybe not, the point is if you’re not offering discounts and promotions on your page, you’re not talking to a large majority of your fans.

 
However, in a very close second, with 39% of the audience poll responding: ‘to show my support for the company to others’. Well, I’ll be darned, that is the other side of the argument, and I believe proves the point.

You need to post so that both the analytic side of your fans brains, who join to save money, and the emotional side of your fans brains who join to show support get what their looking for.
 
The ROI from the discounts and promotions you offer can be clearly monitored and tracked. The other measure you need to be aware of is ROE, or return on engagement. When you look at your page for both of these measures, you won’t be ‘disappointed’ when someone comments on your latest ‘cute cat pic’. You can take pleasure in knowing that something you posted meant enough for someone to comment on it.
 
Now here’s where I think we can all agree. The return on engagement is ultimately more valuable because the more engaged a fan is, the more loyal they become, and the more likely the are to do business with you, thus feeding the ROI.
 
So to recap, your social strategy should offer a balance between buying incentives, and engagement incentives. Learn to measure not only your ROI, but your ROE. As you increase your ROE, your direct response messages will have a better platform, and you will see the results in your bottom line.
For more social media strategy please contact John Garcia at jgarcia@bdigitalagency.com