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7-Marketing-Habits-of-Todays-Highly-Successful-SMBsWhat do marketers need to know and do in order to be successful in a tough economy?

The goal of our recent study with Forrester was to determine just that. How are SMBs in the U.S. responding to the current economic environment? Have recent economic conditions forced changes in their business practices?

Several factors that emerged from this study  demonstrate why some companies are growing, despite a challenging economic climate, while others are under-performing. We call these factors the “7 Marketing Habits of Successful SMBs.” They provide key insights into what’s working for Top Performing small and medium-sized businesses, and what’s causing others to be left behind.

Habit #7: Maintain marketing budgets during a difficult economy.

Although the gut reaction during an economic downturn may be to reduce spending, according to the survey, Top Performers (SMBs exceeding their own revenue goals) were far less likely to reduce spending during the current economic downturn.

  • 1/3 of Top Performers reduced their marketing budget
  • 56% of Bottom Performers reduced their marketing budget

Top Performers were also more likely to take advantage of an increased pool of qualified applicants during an economic downturn:

  • 1/3 of Top Performers increased hiring
  • 15% of Bottom Performers increased hiring

Although it may seem logical to reduce spending during a particularly challenging economic time, our study shows that it’s important to at a minimum maintain marketing budgets –  and there are repercussions to slashing budgets. Companies that drop their marketing spending:

  • Risk slower growth
  • Provide a pathway for competitors to gain market share

While businesses have been theoretically aware of the risks of decreasing marketing budgets, the results of our study with Forrester illustrates that many continue to pull back in a sour economy, the result of which can be substandard growth and even decline.

 

Interested in checking out the other six marketing habits revealed by our study with Forrester? Download “7 Marketing Habits of Today’s Highly Successful SMBs” today.

Paige Musto is Director of Communications at Act-On Software. She brings over 12 years of experience in public relations, marketing 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!