Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of small businesses in the United States conduct email marketing without marketing software or a CRM system, according to a survey from Visual Objects, a B2B services provider review site.
Digital marketing experts like Tina Fleming, brand strategist at digital marketing agency Designzillas, believes CRM is an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy. Without it, businesses must do the work manually.
“Conducting email marketing without a CRM is a mistake, plain and simple. You are leaving money on the table if you’re not using a real CRM,” Fleming says.
Many small businesses are also shying away from search engine optimization (SEO) and video marketing in their digital marketing plans, according to the research, which found that 19 percent of small businesses plan to decrease their investments in video marketing, and only 10 percent of small businesses intend to invest more in SEO this year.
Experts believe production expenses, remote coordination struggles, and the inability to produce content in house account for plans to decrease video marketing budgets.
Matt Bertram, CEO and SEO strategist at EWR Digital, says SEO spending is also decreasing because results can take months to materialize and small companies face an algorithmic disadvantage when competing against larger companies.
“Small businesses are often disappointed with SEO because it doesn’t give them an immediate boost in sales. This results in them relegating SEO to a low priority,” Bertram says.
At the same time, most small businesses (73 percent) ranked social media as one of their most successful digital marketing channels, according to the data, which prompted analysts to conclude that social media is effective in boosting brand awareness and allows small businesses to compete against larger companies, which distinguishes it from other digital marketing channels.
Stephanie Brown, a social media consultant and coach at The Content Fixer, agrees, citing social media’s ability to facilitate lasting connections between small businesses and customers. “Social media also allows for more authentic connection with your dream clients,” she says.