Monday, December 22, 2008

Some Small Business Looking to Increase Ad Spending in 09

Ad-ology has released results from a Small Business Marketing Outlook survey it conducted. Perhaps surprising to some, it found that in 2009, a quarter of small business owners plan to spend more on advertising while another 60% plan to spend about the same as they did this year.

When broken down by media type, over half of small business advertisers plan to spend the same or more on the following:

  • Online advertising (69%)
  • Yellow Pages (54%)
  • Newspapers (51%)
  • Direct mail (51%)
Other key findings include:

• “Knows my company/line of business” is the top attribute small business owners look for in a media advertising sales rep. “Delivers what they promise” is the second most desirable attribute.
• 52% of small business owners surveyed agree with the statement “you can gain market share by marketing while your competitors are cutting back.”
• 74% believe their company “must be one of the first 2-3 that come to a customer’s mind” when they need what the small business owner is selling.
• More than half of respondents plan to spend the same or more time and money on their Web sites and email marketing in 2009.
• The majority of small businesses are not using other emerging media: 77% do not use online video, 83% do not podcast, and 82% do not use mobile advertising.

While many small businesses appear to be budgeting more for online advertising in, some Adsense users are reporting decreases in revenue in late 08. I'm curious to if the trend in 2009 will be to seek more innovative online promotion methods.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why people don't trust your blog

I'm always returning to a state of trying to figure out how to reinvent my blog. Why's that? Well I think the biggest problem is that I'm a lazy blogger. After a lull in the action, I let weeks, even months go by with no posts and I start thinking how I can get into the groove of blogging more.

Here are some of my thoughts from this morning: I just read a really good article on WebProNews titled People Don't Trust Your Blog. First off, it has a nice graph on the types of information sources and the level that people trust them. Emails from friends are at the top while corporate blogs are at the bottom. It's wicked information for anyone in marketing. Richard MacManus dissects the report a bit, but here is where it takes my thinking:

- This is no wonder when I see an ads telling me that Ford is now the same quality as Honda and Toyota. You can't keep promoting on a blog or you are just trying to sell me. Consider a conversation with a friend who just got into the insurance industry and he/she keeps hounding you to sit down and look at insurance packages... that's an annoying friend.

- Have you ever had a know it all friend. A friend that just spews out useless facts about stuff you don't care about? Come on, we all have. They are annoying too. I think a good blog has to have useful information that I can rely on. From the real estate space, Norm write a great blog. I don't read it regularly because I'm not always thinking about real estate. But whenever I want information or stats, I always start with Norm. It helps me that the blog is always focused and on topic

- Ever had a friend that isn't genuine? You grow tired of them don't you? A blogger needs to care. Respond to comments and be real. When people voice a concern, listen to them. Nothing worse than someone that doesn't really care.

- Ever had a good friend that doesn't keep in touch. They don't work hard enough or at all on your friendship. This goes hand in hand with the point above. A good blogger needs to post regularly and cross post. They need to stay in touch one way or another. (I need to embrace the micro post).

Ok, I need counseling now. But that was cathartic. I go through this like people trying to quit smoking or lose a few pounds. I'm like a yo-yo.

I have to say how surprised I was to see corporate blogs at the bottom of the pile. The whole idea that made corporate blogging more popular was for companies to be more transparent and engage the customers in a genuine fashion. So the thought today - can you be more like a friend and less like a company with your business blog?