Small businesses still face difficulties when it comes to acquiring new business. In a Q1 2014 study by Gallup and Wells Fargo, gaining customers, targeting business opportunities and finding new clients or new business was the top challenge among US small-business owners, cited by 21% of respondents. Given the fact that small business does not necessarily have a dedicated marketing department or resources, the task is monumental. Under these circumstances the first act of reaching out to new customers or potential clients is through referrals from friends and family. All other hurdles cited, including those related to costs and the government, trailed by at least 10 percentage points.
The best marketing tactics help small businesses grab prospects’ attention? According to March 2014 polling by Huzzah Media, friend referrals were the marketing tool US small businesses saw the most success with, with more than half of respondents saying so. Advertising ranked second, cited by one-third of small businesses. Also a fact the small business is not digital marketing and Social media savvy, but that seems to be changing and many businesses are rapidly adopting Online marketing, via SEO, SEM and Social media. There is huge potential for growth in Online marketing with small businesses as they become more familiar with digital marketing strategies. It is the responsibility of the Online marketing agencies to reach out to small businesses and to educate them on the Online strategies that are available, and even with a limited budget there is huge ROI in Online marketing when done right.
And those referrals don’t just bring about marketing success—they generate revenues as well. That word-of-mouth was the second-best source of revenues according to US small businesses surveyed by Huzzah Media was likely why respondents saw friend recommendations as so successful. Repeat customers were the No. 1 source of revenues, cited by 44.0% of respondents.
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