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Online Media Overtakes Traditional Channels In SMB Advertising Use

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 8/21/2009

SMBs are advertising on online channels more than traditional platforms for the first time, a survey from The Kelsey Group found.

The digital revolution is fully underway - digital and online media channels are now more popular for small business advertising than traditional media platforms, a new study reported.

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According to the Local Commerce Monitor study from The Kelsey Group, 77 percent of small businesses reported using online media channels for advertising in August - a 4 percent increase since August of the previous year.

Meanwhile, SMB use of traditional media advertising decreased from 74 percent to 69 percent over the same period.

This shift represents a 14.8 percent increase in digital media as a percentage of total SMB advertising.

"We have been tracking the trend of digital/online media replacing traditional media over four waves of the Local Commerce Monitor study," said Steve Marshall, director of research for The Kelsey Group. "The milestone of digital/online surpassing traditional media among SMBs is an indicator of the broad shift to online platforms."

Despite the increased use of digital media channels, overall advertising and marketing budgets have declined as a result of the recession - the survey found that SMBs decreased ad spending by 23.5 percent, from $2,734 in August 2008 to $2,092 in August 2009.

This may not be surprising news for small business owners, as an earlier survey from Entrepreneur magazine found that 76 percent of small business owners were increasing their focus on online marketing and sales strategies.

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