96% of small business owners say that technology is extremely (72%) or somewhat (24%) important to them in marketing their organization,per results from a Constant Contact survey. Asked to evaluate which tools are more effective at engaging existing customers and which are better at attracting new customers, respondents were split rather evenly on the effectiveness of social media marketing – with most saying it’s equally effective for attracting and engaging customers.Looking at the tools best used for attracting customers, 53% said daily deals are more effective for customer attraction and 51% said the same about online ads. That may be why a recent study from BIA/Kelsey found about half of SMBs surveyed planning to participate in a daily deal, as those respondents also reported devoting more of their marketing dollars to customer attraction than retention.
In general, respondents to the Constant Contact survey indicated that the various online advertising methods (social media ads, online ads, web listing sites) were better for attracting than engaging customers, a fairly intuitive result, although many saw them equally effective at both goals. Also rather logically, email marketing was seen more as an engagement than customer acquisition tool, as were loyalty systems and CRM tools.
The most popular forms of technology currently leveraged by respondents are websites (98%), email marketing (89%), accounting and invoicing systems (70%), contact management tools (68%), website analytics (67%) and social media marketing (57%).
About the Data: The data is based on a survey of 1,305 participants in the Constant Contact Small Biz Council, conducted in Q3 2012.