Tag Archives: Marketing Profs

Can You Guess Small Business Owners’ Main Concern?

What keeps small business owners up at night? It seems so obvious. It’s the first guess anybody dealing with them would make. But here’s a survey that — to the extent any survey does — proves it. 

Thanks to Marketing Profs I found Constant Contact’s (the email marketing company) Small Business Pulse survey for 2012. And with the illustration below we see that what keeps small business owners up at night, their first and biggest concern, is getting more customers.


You can click on that link for a larger view of the original, or click here to download the full report. 

Aside: I added “to the extent that any survey does” above because we should never forget that surveys are only as valid as the way survey respondents were chosen and how well they actually represent the group they stand for. Stay skeptical. For example, another portion of this survey shows that the group favors email marketing over all other marketing tools … but then the survey was taken by an email marketing company, of the opinions of its own customers. So wouldn’t that selection tend to value email marketing higher than the average small business owners? 

In this case, however, the results sure do coincide with common knowledge and common wisdom. Are you surprised that small business owners are most concerned about attracting new customers? And their second concern is keeping the customers they already have? 

Second question: For the entrepreneurs in the crowd, thinking of starting a business … what does this tell you about the business offerings that will or won’t work for small business owners? 

For Better Market Research Get Real Clicks not Fake Answers

For real information, watching what people do is way better than asking them what they think, what they did, or, the worst case, what they intend to do. That’s why I like this new click-based and search-based research so much.  Don’t go with what people say; go with what they do.

A great recent example is Marketing Profs’ In Social Media Era, Facebook Rules. The data is fascinating; but the methodology, and the tool used, is even more so. Screen Shot

This particular post, for example, uses Google Trends to illustrate the comparative rise and fall of the common phrases. You can see at the bottom of this post how the trends chart shows the rise and fall of the three terms “new media, web 2.0, social media.” You can look at the chart here – taken from that post, which, in turn, highlights research done by Justin Kistner posted on socialfresh. He’s saying that social media is the new third wave of the Web, and he uses the Google trends search and news charts to illustrate. I hope you can see it on the chart below. In Web searches, on the top, “new media” gradually fades from 2004 to now. “Web 2.0” goes up fast in 2005 and 2006, but peaks, and then falls. “Social media” goes up gradually, but seems to be accelerating. In Web news reports, on the bottom, social media is taking over.

Line charts

That’s done with Google Trends. Try it. Go to the Google Trends Web tool and start typing in search terms to see what the whole online world has been looking for, and finding, for the last few years. Try it with the terms “hamburger, sushi” and then with “Twitter, blogs” and you’ll see what I mean. I like what I see for “accountability,” which I think is increasing in importance these days.

This is a great tool for thinking, and planning. Educate those guesses.

The Truth in a Graphic About High-Tech Distractions

I just couldn’t resist sharing this. It’s called The Hierarchy of Digital Distractions, and it’s brilliant; and even better in full size, so you should click this link or on the picture to see the original. I got it from Ann Handley, @marketingprofs on Twitter. It’s from a site called Information is Beautiful, by David McCandless.

And it certainly depicts, way too accurately, the way digital distractions stack up for me.

(Image: by David McCandless, via Information is Beautiful)