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Small Businesses Plan to increase Online Budgets!

Borrell Associates Inc released it’s annual Outlook yesterday. In this outlook, they laid their vision for 2011 in relationship to small and mid-size businesses online spending. The numbers, frankly, aren’t that shocking!

To create their 2011 outlook they surveyed 2872 small and mid-size businesses. While the economy is increasing, so is the profitability of those that have taken to the new market of “hyperlocal” marketing. Hyperlocal marketing is classified by 3 primary methods. First it refers to companies that are located within a well defined, community scale area. Secondly, it is intended primarily for consumption by residents of that area. Thirdly, it is created by or focused to that community by a company within the location. A great example of this is Groupon, who went from zero to over $400 million in net worth this year.

With this new method of marketing taking over it is expected, as reported by Borrell Associates, that online marketing budgets will increase. SMBs “plan to increase their ad budgets 4.5% this year, but their online budgets 29%”. This money will likely be spent on items like direct email marketing, website rebuilds and enhancements. Additionally with the expected increase from 86% of small companies having a website to 91% it is, in my opinion, the best time to look at SEO and SEM spending. This will be necessary to begin the differentiation of one company from another on the web.

As always there will be free avenues that will attract attention like Twitter, Google Places, Bing shopping, etc but expect the amount of those annoying mailers, local coupon clipping magazines, and the like to be reduced. I am sure my mailbox will be happy!