The most surprising finding in a new BtoB study conducted by Oracle Eloqua is that a representative sample of SMBs say that they value technology competencies including analytics, conversion methods and targeting more than marketers overall.
Value, of course, is difficult to quanitify. But the data does support my belief that SMBs are becoming more sophisticated and adopting new technologies.
The study showed that SMBs are more likely to use email, content and search marketing than marketers in general. Also,, smaller companies' marketers are more reliant on technology and the vendors that supply that technology than marketers overall. There’s zero surprise there.
Rather than be intimidated, many of these SMBs are using digital media in attempts to compete and win in a changing marketplace.
“We have the belief here that SMBs can compete online, creating content and pushing it out to the world,” Lance R. Schneider, e-business manager at Budnick Converting, a fabricator of flexible materials such as die-cut adhesive tape, aluminum foil and PVC foam gaskets, told the publication.
More SMB marketers (35%) said webinars and virtual events are important than did marketers overall (28%); they are more committed to digital PR, blogging and customer case studies (34% vs. 31%); and they say search marketing is more important (33% vs. 28%). On the other hand, small-to-midsize marketers tend to place somewhat less importance on social media, e-newsletters, microsites, banner ads and video portals, the study found.
When asked about the changes that have contributed the most to modern marketing, all marketers cited as No. 1 the ability to track marketing ROI using technology. However, SMB marketers seem more keenly aware of technology's impact, with 64% saying technology-driven ROI is factor No. 1, compared with 60% of marketers overall.
Missing from the study was the SMBs’ views on mobile. That’s perplexing given the increasing use by this group of text messaging and mobile loyalty clubs.
The full report is here - http://www.eloqua.com/content/dam/eloqua/Downloads/whitepapers/B2B_Mag_defining-the-modern-marketer.pdf
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program http://Goo.gl/t3fgW, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.