This is a fairly limited survey, but it has some interesting data: VerticalResponse, an email and direct mail marketing provider, surveyed small businesses in California about online marketing and social media. Responses were divided by how long the companies have been in business; start-ups are those in business 3 years or less, and established companies were those in business 10 year or more. Some results:
1.) 85% of startups use social media tools (including blogs, social networks, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more) compared to 75% of established businesses.
I think this speaks a bit to the mindset of newer small business owners and their willingness to get involved in social media and use these sites/tools that have only been around about as long as they’ve been in business. The established companies (10 years or older) are businesses that started long before the term “social media” even existed. Heck, those companies are even pre-Google.
2.) More than 50% of startups ranked lack of time or budget as the key roadblocks to online marketing, while less than 5% ranked either lack of technical skills or knowledge of the tools.
3.) For established businesses, lack of time also led with a full half of respondents, but 44% cited lack of technical skills and 37% lack of knowledge of what’s available as their leading road blocks.
This suggests that small businesses who are starting now begin with a high level of technical knowledge, while older companies consider that a roadblock. These results are practically cliché, but I’ve always said that things usually become cliché when they’re true. Newer small businesses enter the world with more enthusiasm and understanding of the online tools available to them, while more experienced companies are lagging behind in those areas.
You can read the full news release on MarketWatch.