The Small Business and the Digital Divide

Cartoons by Andertoons

Today, AxisPortals has been pondering this article on the ways in which small businesses are often either entirely missing out on online opportunities, or are growing frustrated by their early marketing efforts in this sphere.   Consider these facts:

Though less than half of small businesses do have a website, the ones that do are not necessarily seeking to get traffic to it, and are not happy overall with their online marketing. Among those small businesses that have a website:

  • 51% believe both the quality and ability of their site to acquire new customers is only “fair” or “poor.”
  • 30% of business owners feel that they typically do a better job of marketing than a close competitor.
  • 78% believe they advertise in the same places as their competitors.
  • Only 7% of small business owners say their primary marketing goal is to get more visitors to their website.
  • 61% spend less than three hours a week marketing their website.
  • 99% of small business owners are directly involved in the marketing.
  • 65% believe it is very important to know where their customers come from.
  • Only 9% are satisfied with their online marketing efforts. 
  • 78% of small business owners dedicate 10% or less of their budget to marketing. Of those, half spend less than 10% of their marketing budget on internet advertising, while 30% do no Internet advertising.

The upshot?  Small businesses (which aren’t always all that small in terms of either income or number of employees) are missing important online opportunities.  Local businesses, in particular, need to consider the reality of consumer behavior today:  when current clients and colleagues  and potential customers and connections are looking for you, they will inevitably begin their search online, and this is true even when their initial contact with you or awareness of your name or service has come in another forum.  When these folks enter your name, the names of your key team members, and/or your company name in a search engine, it’s crucial to ensure that they not only find you, but find rich, appealing, informative, polished, and positive information about you.  When a search yields either limited information or shoddy information, you lose important opportunities to extend your success.

AxisPortals Aphorism:  Small businesses can’t afford to make web presence an afterthought.  

Tomorrow:  Towards Bridging the Divide

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One Response to The Small Business and the Digital Divide

  1. […] Small Business: Bridging the Digital Divide As we have seen, small businesses too often miss opportunities to make good use of websites and other aspects of online presence. Robert Scoble notes that this is […]

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