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01/08/2008

Small Business Owners In Advertising Rut!

When it comes to advertising, small businessowners are definitely in a rut�sticking to traditional media, advertising in printed directories (that are out-of-date before the ink dries!) Here�s the scoop. . .

According to an independent study commissioned by AT&T, the majority of small-business owners see directory advertising as their most effective marketing tool. The survey of 1,000 businesses with 25 employees or less, found that nearly two-thirds (63%) still advertise in a printed directory.

In addition, 72% of those small businesses said they would spend the same amount on printed directory advertising in the coming year; some (11%) said they would spend more. And 19% said they would spend more next year on newspaper and magazine ads, which were cited as the second-most effective marketing tool by the small businesses.

While only about 23% of the respondents said they currently use online advertising (and two-thirds said they have their own web sites), some 53% of them said they expected to buy online advertising featuring video over the next two to three years, according to the survey.

Obviously, AT&T, which publishes the well-known Yellow Pages directory, has a vested interest in the survey. But to eliminate bias, the company contracted Western Wats Data Collection Agency in Utah to conduct the survey.

The small-businesses survey is intended to back up research from The Kelsey Group, in which 61% of Americans say they still use a printed directory to find local information. That survey found that 13% of consumers used search engines to find local information, while 7% used web directories.

The results of both surveys show that businesses and consumers looking for local information are still turning to the tried-and-true book. The top five categories for directory searches are: restaurants, physicians, auto parts suppliers, auto repair shops, and pizza.

According to the survey, 20% said they expected to spend more on internet directories, and 38% expected to spend more on internet banner ads. When it comes to search-word marketing, 43% said they spent more this year than last year, and 34% said they expected to increase search-word spending next year


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