BIA/Kelsey predicts that SMBs will spend more than $50 billion on local media in 2015. Additionally, they will continue to allocate even more ad dollars to digital.
Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will spend $50.4 billion on local media in 2015, representing more than one-third of total local media spend, according to BIA/Kelsey.
In a preview of its forthcoming U.S. Local Media Forecast 2015, BIA/Kelsey predicts that SMBs and national brands will be neck-and-neck in 2015 in terms of spending on local media, accounting for 35.8 percent and 35.9 percent of the total local media spend, respectively. And SMBs will keep up the momentum for the duration of the research period, which ends in 2019.
In comparison, non-SMB local businesses will represent 28.2 percent of the overall local media spend in 2015.
"SMBs are an important part of the local media marketplace and will be slightly growing in that importance," says Mark Fratrik, senior vice president of BIA/Kelsey, who leads the development of the forecast. "While there are many SMBs that make up this spending, and thus very costly to service, it is still important for all media companies (both traditional and digital) to target SMBs."
Another key finding from the forecast is that digital will continue to expand in the local ad market. Specifically, SMBs will allocate $12.4 billion of their total local media spending to digital media in 2015, compared to $10.4 billion this year. In contrast, "some traditional media are seeing decreases as a result," Fratrik notes.
So what type of digital media should SMBs be focusing on? Fratrik says it all depends on the types of businesses and their target group. "I can imagine that SMBs that target a younger demographic group might want to utilize social media more than, say, one that targets the entire local market," he tells ClickZ.
The forecast for SMBs is part of BIA/Kelsey's overall advertising forecast program. The full report will cover different media segments and will be released in late September.
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Yuyu Chen is a junior reporter at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.
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