Almost two-thirds (64%) of small businesses in the U.S. admitted to conducting email marketing without marketing software or a CRM in 2021, according to a survey and report from Visual Objects.
Without CRM systems in place, small businesses must handle their email marketing the old-fashioned manual way. But considering the wealth of data, channels and platforms involved in assembling customer data and marketing campaigns, the manual way is at best inefficient and time consuming.
Digital marketing expert Tina Fleming (brand strategist at digital marketing agency Designzillas) believes a CRM system is not just a ‘nice to have’ in today’s digital world – it’s an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy. “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 system.”
SEO And Video Marketing budgets cut
Some small businesses are shying away from SEO and video marketing in their digital marketing plans. Currently, 19% of small businesses plan on decreasing their investments in video marketing, and only 10% of small businesses intend to invest more in SEO this year.
Experts believe production expenses, remote coordination struggles, and the ability 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 decreasing because results can take months to materialize and small companies face an algorithmic disadvantage when competing against larger brands. “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 said.
Social Media cited as ‘Best Digital Marketing Channel’
Most small businesses (73%) ranked social media as one of their most successful digital marketing channels, claiming that social media achieves marketing-focused business objectives.
Stephanie Brown, a social media consultant and coach at The Content Fixer, explained that social media facilitates lasting connections between small businesses and customers. “Social media also allows for more authentic connection with your dream clients,” Brown said.
Social media is effective in boosting brand awareness and allows small businesses to compete against larger brands, which distinguishes social media from other digital marketing channels.
Visual Objects surveyed 500 small business owners and managers in the U.S. to gain insights into how companies are managing digital marketing strategies in 2021. The full report has been made available online at http://visualobjects.com