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7-HabitsRecently, Act-On Software commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey small and medium-sized businesses across the US. The goal: To determine exactly how SMBs in the United States are responding to the current economic environment and evaluate how – if at all – the economy had forced changes in their business practices.

What emerged from the survey were several factors that illustrate why some companies are growing beyond expectations while others are under-performing. We call these factors the “7 Marketing Habits of Today’s Highly Successful SMBs.” They provide key insights into what’s working for Top Performing SMBs and what’s causing other small and medium-sized businesses to be left behind.

Habit #1: Emphasize online over offline marketing strategies

It’s no accident that the marketing automation space is growing rapidly. Today, online marketing – including email marketing, social media, and webinars – is a very real part of the way we do business.  In the case of small and medium-sized businesses, online marketing provides a set of tools that allows SMBs to compete with large enterprise organizations in a way that wasn’t possible in the past.

However, the tools only work if an organization uses them. According to our survey, Bottom Performers were far more likely to direct budgets towards offline marketing efforts such as print advertising and direct mail.  Top Performers, on the other hand, were more likely to spend marketing dollars on online programs including social media, email marketing, webinars, and earned and paid media.

Supporting Stats

The following three statistics, taken from the Forrester survey, support the importance of emphasizing online over offline marketing strategies for SMBs:

  • Almost  1 in 3 Top Performers professed online marketing to be a game-changer that allows them to reach more audiences and compete more broadly
  • 68% of Bottom Performers perceived online marketing as a tool no more important than offline marketing activities
  • 71% of companies using marketing automation were Top Performers

 

Up Next: Habit #2: Focus on new business leads and lifetime value over customer acquisition costs

Can’t wait for habits #2-7? Download our free 7 Marketing Habits of Today’s Highly Successful SMBs eBook now!

Paige Musto is Sr. Manager, Public Relations and Social Media at Act-On Software. She brings 8+ years’ experience in public relations and social media for high technology companies in the IT Security and SaaS industries. In this position she heads up all PR/AR and Social Media programs, driving the company’s brand and product awareness as well as leveraging social media to optimize lead generation. Prior to joining Act-On, Paige was Manager, Public Relations at NetSuite (NYSE: N) where she drove corporate, channel and partner PR and thought leadership programs, as well as established the company’s social media program. Paige has held various communication roles at companies including VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN), Check Point Software (NASDAQ: CHKP), and RSA, the security division of EMC (NYSE: EMC). Paige holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communication from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Marketing Management from California State University-East Bay. In her spare time, Paige enjoys shopping, reading and watching sports—Go Niners!