Small Businesses Use Online Promotion

Small businesses who have or plan to have an online presence expect online promotions to aid in their efforts to compete with the big boys, according to a study bySmartAge.com and Millward Brown Intelliquest.

The small businesses polled use or plan to use promotions ranging from direct mail, reciprocal links, affiliate networks community chat, bulletin boards, free banner ads, paid banner ads, and interstitials.

The sample for the survey consisted of members of the Intelliquest Technology Panel™ who are employed by firms in the US with 24 or fewer employees that have or plan to have a Web site in the next 12 months. All respondents were involved in their company’s Web site.

Among the survey’s findings:

  • 80 percent of respondents expect online promotions to help them compete more effectively. None of the respondents feel online promotions will not be of any help in the future
  • 45 percent of respondents believe that online promotion has already helped their organization to compete more effectively in today’s marketplace. Only 11 percent of respondents feel that online promotions do not help them compete more effectively
  • 38 percent of respondents are primarily trying to reach a national consumer base through their online promotions, while 35 percent are primarily trying to reach a local market. Nine percent are trying to reach an international market.
  • 47 percent of small business respondents report that online advertising is important to their organization. Fourteen percent say that online advertising is not at all important to their organization.
  • On average, more than half of the respondents spend less than $250 per month on online promotions. Of these, 24 percent spend $0 and 32 percent spend between $1 and $249. In comparison, more than one-third of the respondents spend less than an average of $250 per month on offline promotions. Of these, 10 percent spend $0 and 26 percent spend between $1 and $249.


Promotional Methods Used/Plan to Use
Promotion Currently Use Use in Next
12 Months
Direct email 29% 23%
Reciprocal links 20% 28%
Banner ads 11% 25%
Affiliate networks 9% 23%
Bulletin boards 8% 19%
Community chat 8% 11%
Interstitials 2% 8%
Source: SmartAge.com/Millward Brown Intelliquest

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