Business Traction From Smarter SMB Interaction

Advancing Enterprise Excellence in SMB Marketing in North America

In partnership with:


Small to medium-sized businesses (those under 500 employees) account for about $5 trillion in U.S. GDP—as much as the big corporate market. Enterprise marketers invest billions in trying to reach, engage, serve and support the SMB customer. Too often, these brands are frustrated with the outcomes and struggle to segment, target, understand and resonate with SMB decision-making audiences.

The “Business Traction from Smarter SMB Interaction” study by the CMO Council identifies best practices in SMB marketing, partnering and co-innovation. Through qualitative and quantitative research, we explore aspects such as:

  • How larger enterprises value the SMB market
  • Challenges and complexities in serving and supporting SMB customers
  • Segmenting, reaching and engaging SMB customers through different media channels
  • What data gaps are there and how are enterprises gathering insights
  • Best practices in building in optimal SMB marketing infrastructures, value propositions, multi-channel campaign and delivery systems


Facts & Stats

New AT&T Small Business Technology Poll surveyed 1,000 small businesses nationwide and found that 66 percent of small businesses plan to invest as much or more in digital marketing. - Mobile Marketing Watch, May 2013

Wells Fargo was the largest lender to small business nationally in 2012, and had $32.8 billion in small business loans in 2012 making it the leader nationally. -, March 2013

B2B small business marketers allocate 31 percent of their budgets to content marketing, and 57 percent say they are planning to increase this amount. -, May 2013 

More investment in mobile marketing solutions is a factor among small businesses polled, with 71 percent “somewhat” or “very likely” to increase budgets for marketing via mobile devices. - Mobile Marketing Watch, May 2013

Although SBOs are relying on traditional marketing tactics, such as word-of-mouth advertising and customer referrals, digital technology is emerging as an important tool for their businesses. Bank of America, March 2013

Email marketing captures an average 15% of SMB marketing budgets. Vocus Edge Research, October 2012

7 in 10 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) plan to maintain (45%) or increase (27%) their level of spending on mobile media in the next year, compared to just 4% who expect a decrease in mobile spend. Borrell Associates, commissioned by Pontiflex

Mobile marketing appears to becoming a mainstream activity among these SMBs: half said they were very (18%) or somewhat (31%) likely to incorporate mobile elements in their advertising and marketing efforts to reach potential customers in the next 12 months. Borrell Associates, commissioned by Pontiflex

77% of SMBs say that social media accounts for 25% or more of their total marketing effort. Vocus and Duct Tape Media, September 2012

40% of SMBs prefer a smaller but highly engaged audience, while 27% would prefer a huge following with little engagement. Vocus and Duct Tape Media, September 2012


Studies & White Papers

MassMutual Business Owner Perspectives Study - MassMutual

Path to Influence: An Industry Study of SMBs and Social Media - Vocus and Duct Tape Media


July 2013 - We've Built a Cost-Efficient Platform for SMBs: Andy Hwang - Business Standard

July 2013 - Don't Let These 4 Mobile Marketing Misconceptions Hold You Back - Yahoo! Small Business Advisor News

June 2013 - How Are SMB's Using the Digital Space? - Marketing Pilgrim

June 2013 - Infographic: Small Business Customers Have Big Expectations - Direct Marketing News

June 2013 - Strategies For Successful Small Business Marketing - Huffington Post

June 2013 - acuires ExactTarget, fills void in marketing offerings - Small Business Trends

May 2013 - AT&T: Small businesses rely heavily on mobile presence -

May 2013 - Big banks dive back into small business lending -

May 2013 - Big data analytics from small businesses -

May 2013 - Dell Survey: Red tape hurting SMBs - Fox Business

May 2013 - Big banks get dismal grades from Canadian entrepreneurs -

May 2013 - 6 signs that B2B small businesses have big plans for content marketing -

April 2013 - A big data approach to measuring small businesses in America - Forbes

March 2013 - Wells Fargo top lender to small businesses -

March 2013 - Twitter gives small businesses more advertising options - PC World

March 2013 - Mobile ad campaigns: smart… and easy for small businesses - American Business Magazine

March 2013 - Sprint unveils shared data plans for small businesses - CNET

February 2013 - What Google's enhanced campaigns mean for small businesses

January 2013 - Big data and SaaS will become relevant for small businesses in 2103 - Techcrunch

January 2013 - The state of small-business lending - New York Times

January 2013 - What big data means for small businesses - ZDnet

December 2012 - "Small Business Saturday" a boon for Amex and small biz owners -

December 2012 - Wells Fargo launches portal for small businesses - American Banker

December 2012 - Big data offers huge potential for smaller companies, Intuit says -

December 2012 - Big business jumps on small-business bandwagon - USA TODAY

November 2012 - Bank of America targets small businesses with mobile payment, deals services - Mobile Commerce Daily

November 2012 - Singing the praises of Small Business Saturday - Fast Company

October 2012 - Citibank's US small business owner survey results -

October 2012 - Are you ready for the coming SMB Marketing boom? - Mediapost

September 2012 - U.P.S bills stores as small-business solution - New York Times

August 2012 - Bank of America targeting small businesses -

July 2012 - Small business lessons from the FedEx brand -

June 2012 - How big companies can support small businesses - Forbes