Recent Study Reveals Nearly Half of All SMBs Lack a Marketing Plan
Passion, more than any other quality, fuels today’s small businesses. While it is an essential quality, it is only one small fraction of the equation that yields success in the modern marketplace. To reach today’s consumers, startups must deliver exceptional products and services, and offer positive user experiences backed by a viable marketing plan.
Unfortunately, based on data obtained through a recent survey from Outbound Engine, a majority of today’s SMBs have no plan at all, but instead, fumble in the darkness. Without a marketing strategy, modern startups experience unprecedented levels of stress and uncertainty.
Desire to Succeed Is Not Enough
America’s small business community has always operated on the principles of hard work, dedication and passion. While these qualities continue to remain indispensable to today’s startups, they are no longer sufficient, by themselves, to yield success. The modern marketplace has transformed the way consumers research, browse, interact with, and ultimately, purchase goods and services. Reaching these individuals, garnering their attention and keeping them coming back for additional interactions with your startup, requires a marketing plan.
Key Findings From Survey of Hundreds of SMB Owners
Outbound Engine’s recent survey of over 350 small to mid-sized business owners across the nation asked multiple questions covering growth rates, marketing tactics employed, obstacles to meeting business goals, current stressors and more. The key findings from this study paint an eye-opening picture of the state of small business in America and include figures such as:
* Half of all startups surveyed have absolutely no marketing plan for 2019 * Over 25% of SMB owners feel more stress this year than in previous years * Nearly 60% of startup owners allocate five or fewer hours a week to marketing * 86% allocate more time to other aspects of business than marketing
Ultimately, nearly a third of all SMBs surveyed indicate they are unsure how to grow their business in 2019. On the surface, these numbers paint a fairly grim portrait of the state of small business ownership in America.
What Keeps Business Owners From Reaching Growth Goals?
When surveyed, small business owners stated that several factors keep them from developing a marketing plan and experiencing the growth they desire. These include:
- Staff shortages
- Lack of funds to invest in marketing
- Shortage of time to devote to marketing strategies
- Lack of knowledge concerning which marketing tactics are most effective
The data from this survey appears to reflect a fundamental misunderstanding businesses have concerning the elements that comprise a marketing plan. It does not have to be complex, costly, time-consuming or require the services of a full-time, dedicated, on-site marketing specialist, a content development team or a dedicated web designer.
Take the First Steps Toward Crafting a Viable Marketing Plan
Creating a marketing plan on a small budget begins, first and foremost, by asking some fundamental questions such as:
- What are your growth goals for this quarter, this year, next year and beyond?
- What elements of your business set you apart from the competition?
- Who are your customers and what matters most to them?
Answering these three straightforward questions is vital to establishing a basic marketing plan. Armed with these answers, startups can explore a myriad of budget-friendly resources like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google My Business, and more to reach and engage with customers, highlight products and services, and streamline websites for mobile access.