What's Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars


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Today small business marketers must make every dollar count by investing in proven effective tactics.

Quantum Leap Marketing recently conducted a survey to find out how small business marketers are responding to tough economic times and how they plan to optimize marketing efforts for maximum results.

Download the white paper to learn:
• How small businesses with limited budgets are reaching more prospects and getting more qualified leads
• Why Webinars have become a key strategy for small businesses
• Best practices for small business marketing success

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What's Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars

  1. 1. What’s Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars in 2009 A Quantum Leap Marketing White Paper Published May 2009 SPONSORED BY Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. • PO Box 68 • Hopkinton MA 01748 Phone 617-901-6886 • Fax 801-991-6886 • bhanson@qlmarketing.com • www.qlmarketing.com
  2. 2. What’s Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars in 2009 Summary What are small businesses doing this year to get more leads and sales from their marketing budget? How do Webinars fit into this marketing mix in 2009? What are some winning strategies you can use to get a higher return-on-investment from your marketing dollars? Avoid the common Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. conducted a survey in the mistakes, get more first quarter of 2009 to find answers to these questions and from your marketing more. Small business executives and marketers were asked budget, and execute about their marketing plans, including how they plan to a more effective react to the recession and how they intend to change the marketing plan right marketing mix for better results. They were also asked for away. their views on lead-generation (marketing) Webinars. This white paper presents a summary of the survey results regarding their marketing plan and tactics, identifies top trends from this survey, and also discusses the increasingly important role of Webinars in small business marketing in 2009. About the Survey The data shared in this report comes from a recently completed online survey of 143 individuals who identified themselves as being responsible for, or contributing to, their organization’s marketing. To qualify, their company needed to be actively marketing and have under 1,000 employees. The survey population generally consisted of smaller businesses; that is, 79% came from organizations with 100 or fewer employees. The survey pool represents a wide diversity of industries, although over 54% identified themselves as offering services such as marketing services, financial services, or professional or legal services. Just over 51% identified themselves as a business owner or firm partner, with the remainder having a marketing role. © 2009 Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. Page 1
  3. 3. What’s Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars in 2009 Trends in Small Business Marketing Here are the key findings from this recent survey of small business owners and marketers. Primary Marketing Tactics in 2009 When asked about their planned marketing tactics for 2009, 76% of small businesses indicated they will using referrals to get more leads and new clients. Primary Ways of Marketing 80% 70% Referrals and email 60% marketing are the 50% 40% most popular ways of 30% attracting new 20% 10% customers. 0% Telemarketing Trade Shows Referrals Marketing Marketing Partners or Social Media Direct Mail Webinars or White Paper Simple Web Website Affiliates Marketing Seminars Presence Marketing Seminars Email Online or Live Interestingly, 55% indicated that they will be using email marketing, 49% have a simple Web presence, while 43% will be using live seminars or trade shows. These stats are significant when one considers that the average small business will actively use multiple ways of generating business. Companies are looking to aggressively recruit for new customers in 2009 despite a tough economy. Success Criteria for Marketing Campaigns When asked about the ways they judged the effectiveness of their overall marketing activities, 58% cited the Number of Sales Opportunities Generated. © 2009 Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. Page 2
  4. 4. What’s Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars in 2009 Measuring Marketing Effectiveness 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Number of Number of Number of Campaign ROI Total Revenue Cost Per Lead Don't Track, Sales Leads Won Sales Generated Don't Measure Opportunities Generated Opportunities Generated Forty-two percent cited both the Number of Won Sales Where marketers may Opportunities and Number of Leads Generated. Only 11% have been more reported that they do not measure or track the effectiveness concerned with leads of marketing tactics. in the past, they’re looking at sales Small business marketers appear to be much more focused opportunities and on the bottom line in 2009. Where marketers may have been revenue now. more concerned with leads in the past, they’re looking at sales opportunities and revenue now. Marketing Tactics Looking Forward in 2009 and Beyond When asked which marketing tactics were going to be used more in 2009, the following tactics were highlighted: • Email Marketing • Referral Marketing • Partner or Affiliate Marketing • Social Media Marketing • Webinars The following tactics will be emphasized less this year by small business marketers: • Direct Mail • Trade Shows The general trend appears to be away from more expensive, less effective tactics, and towards newer, more effective ones. Email and Webinars Dominate the Technology Specturm for SMBs as Online Marketing Budgets Increase in 2009 © 2009 Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. Page 3
  5. 5. What’s Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars in 2009 When asked which online marketing technologies will be used in 2009, 4 in 5 small businesses will use Email Marketing while just over half will use Webinars. Online Marketing Technologies 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Conferencing Marketing Social Media Email Auto- eCommerce Management (Google) Ads Management Responders Web Leads, Webinars or Customer Marketing Pay-Per- Email Website Content (CRM) Click Web Social Media Marketing, Website Content Management, Pay-Per-Click Web Ads (Google Adwords) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) will also be used by over 1 in 3 small businesses. Online marketing is clearly growing in the wake of a tough economy as smaller companies search for both cheaper and more effective channels of promotion. Online marketing is Online Marketing Budget in 2009 clearly growing in the wake of a tough economy as smaller 3% 8% companies search for 14% More than 51% Decrease both cheaper and 41% 0 to 50% Decrease more effective Same as Last Year 0 to 50% Increase channels of More than a 50% increase promotion. 34% Forty-four percent of small businesses are increasing their online marketing budget while 34% plan no change in online budget over 2008. Summary of General Marketing Trends for Small Businesses Almost all small business marketers are tracking what is working; they have taken this feedback and, fueled by the © 2009 Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. Page 4
  6. 6. What’s Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars in 2009 external pressure of having to improve in 2009, are increasing their activity and spend in the online arena. Events continue to be successful for smaller businesses; as these businesses develop their email marketing lists they are able to better take advantage of Webinars. The next section will outline how small business marketers view Webinars in 2009. Small Business Webinar Trends in 2009 Here are trends in how marketers view Webinars for lead- generation objectives. Number of Marketing Webinars per Year - 2008 When asked how many marketing Webinars their organization held in the past year, 58% of marketers said they held no events, while 30% reported that they held 6 or fewer Webinars. Events continue to be Number of Marketing Webinars in 2008 successful for smaller businesses; as these businesses develop 18% their email marketing 12% 1 to 3 4 to 6 lists they are able to 7 to 12 better take advantage 13 to 26 of Webinars. 58% 27 or More None 22% 4% 1% Significantly, 4% said that they held online marketing generation events at least every other week. Projected Number of Marketing Webinars per Year - 2009 When asked how many marketing Webinars their organization plans to host in 2009, 35% of marketers said they are planning between 1 and 6 events, and 9% plan at least a Webinar every other week. © 2009 Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. Page 5
  7. 7. What’s Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars in 2009 Number of Projected Marketing Webinars - 2009 About two-thirds of 18% 32% small businesses plan 1 to 3 to hold a marketing 4 to 6 7 to 12 Webinar in 2009. 13 to 26 17% 27 or More None 9% 8% 16% Significantly, only one in three said that they had no plans as of the survey period to hold a Webinar in 2009. Average Attendance at a Typical Marketing Webinar Sixty-three percent of business marketers reported an average attendance of 50 or fewer at their marketing Webinars. Average Attendance - Marketing Webinars 13% 21% 9% 10 or less 11 to 24 25 to 50 51 to 75 76 to 100 14% 20% More than 100 22% In the survey, 13% reported more than 100 attendees at their average marketing Webinar. For comparison purposes, estimate 2 registrants (leads) for every attendee, which is a good benchmark when calculating the number of leads from each small business marketing Webinar. The next section will cover many of the reasons why business marketers view Webinars as a key strategy. © 2009 Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. Page 6
  8. 8. What’s Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars in 2009 Webinars That Work for Small Business The Webinar is becoming a more popular communication medium for small business marketers. It can be intimate, convenient, and highly interactive. The Webinar medium can be viewed in either a live format, where viewers can participate in the excitement of a live event and ask the expert presenter(s) questions, or through an on-demand recording, which they can access and view at their convenience. Here is a summary of some of the important components of small business Webinar success. Accomplish Your Most Important Small Business Marketing Objectives Webinars are flexible in that they help small businesses accomplish a variety of marketing objectives. Listed below are the diverse marketing objectives for small business Webinars and the reported reasons these marketers hold their events. Marketing Objectives with Webinars 90% Webinars are flexible in 80% that they help small 70% 60% businesses accomplish 50% a variety of marketing 40% 30% objectives. 20% 10% 0% Educate Your Generate New Position Your Nurture Existing Add New Opt-in Create a Webinar Prospects or Leads Company in the Leads into Sales Names to the Recording Customers Marketplace Database Note the two most popular reasons for holding Webinars are Educating Prospects or Customers and Generating New Leads. Positioning in the Marketplace and Nurturing Existing Leads into Sales are also common. Increase the Number of Registrants at Each Event Webinars, which use some of today’s leading technologies, enable small businesses to hold marketing events for small © 2009 Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. Page 7
  9. 9. What’s Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars in 2009 groups or to audiences of thousands of registrants for virtually the same price. This flexibility and scalability allows a higher percentage of the event budget to go into higher value activities such marketing to get more registrants (sales leads). As small businesses build their email marketing lists through 2009 and beyond, they will be able to create more Webinar leads and attendees for virtually zero incremental costs. In addition, Webinars offer the opportunity to feature your best speaker in the presentation, which will likely increase the quantity of registrants at the Webinar and the results from it, especially for SMBs. Having Buyers in the “Room” – High Quality Sales Leads and Return on Investment (ROI) Webinars can be a very effective way to get a quantifiable return on investment (ROI) from your marketing dollars and overall resource investment. This comes partly from having buyers in your virtual seminar room. As reported in the survey by marketers who track this metric, 57% of small business marketers reported that Webinars produce the highest quality leads of any online Smaller businesses in marketing tactic. In addition, 46% of those that track report the survey estimated that Webinars produce the highest ROI among the online they save an average marketing tactics. of $101,146 marketing dollars a year by Dramatic Cost Savings over Live Events and Trade Shows doing fewer of these in-person events and By their nature, Webinars can help you save significant time, more Webinars. travel and promotional costs over live events and trade shows. Smaller businesses in the survey estimated they save an average of $101,146 marketing dollars a year by doing fewer of these in-person events and more Webinars. Getting More Small Business Marketing Leads and Sales Conversion in 2009 With the projected increase in online marketing tactics such as email marketing and Webinars, there will be more © 2009 Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. Page 8
  10. 10. What’s Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars in 2009 requests for the attention of your prospects, so it is important to understand best practices that leading organizations large and small have found profitable. While each organization has a unique set of circumstances to consider for their marketing efforts in 2009, small business executives and marketers have a tremendous opportunity to use the tough economic times to tune up their marketing engine and master the ability to gain more customers and sales in any environment. Key Recommendations for Small Business Marketing Success in 2009 Some key recommendations for small business marketing success in 2009 are: Webinars help smaller 1. Get Permission to Market to Prospects – Permission businesses, regardless Marketing is not just for building an opt-in email list, although of their size or market that is a big part of it. Getting prospects onto your list at share, expand their different stages of the information gathering or buying market reach and process will open the door to many more potential buyers compete on a level and help you build a large marketing list. playing field with all competitors. 2. Take Advantage of Effective Online Tactics and Technologies – Those small businesses that are able to take an early advantage of marketing opportunities online will gain a competitive edge. Likewise, it is easier for smaller companies to adopt and benefit faster from new technologies such as Google Adwords, Automated Follow- up Campaigns with CRM, and Email Marketing Technologies because they are more flexible and nimble than larger companies. 3. Build Your Email Marketing List, Now – Email marketing offers a fast, cheap, and effective way to reach prospects, clients, or influencers. Those small businesses that build and cultivate a relatively large email list will lower their cost of conversion and be able to create sales quickly through relatively aggressive email marketing campaigns. 4. Consider Webinars in the Marketing Mix – As discussed above, Webinars help smaller businesses, regardless of their size or market share, expand their market reach and compete on a level playing field with all competitors. Your © 2009 Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. Page 9
  11. 11. What’s Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars in 2009 own, a partner, or a speaker’s email list are all great sources of Webinar invitation lists. 5. Track and Improve – One of the many benefits of online and email marketing is it is easy for small businesses to track the results from each marketing campaign, repeat what works, and improve over time. Summary Small business executives and marketers are increasingly using online marketing to generate leads for their organizations. More are taking advantage of online marketing technologies such as Webinars in 2009 than ever before, and organizations are also increasing the average number of events they will hold. Webinars are allowing marketers to reach more prospects and deliver more qualified leads to sales. This white paper has presented some insights into these trends and also shared ideas about how to get more leads and sales from your own online marketing and Webinars. Try some of the best practices put forth here and reap the rewards in your own organization. © 2009 Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. Page 10
  12. 12. What’s Working in Small Business Marketing and Webinars in 2009 About Citrix Online Citrix Online, a division of Citrix Systems, Inc., is a leading provider of easy- to-use, on-demand applications for Web conferencing and collaboration. Its award-winning services include GoToMeeting Corporate, a complete collaboration solution that satisfies all Web conferencing needs ranging from large Webinars to small online meetings. With GoToMeeting Corporate, organizations of any size can use GoToWebinar for do-it-yourself Web events and GoToMeeting for smaller, more interactive online meetings. For a free evaluation of GoToMeeting Corporate, please visit www.gotomeeting.com/corp. About the Author Bob Hanson is the President of lead generation and conversion consultancy Quantum Leap Marketing and creator of the Must-See Webinars™ success system. He has also published a recent guide to online lead generation, the “What’s Working Now in B-to-B Lead Generation Guide: Success with New Media: Webinars and Google Ads.” To get a free chapter of the guide or more information about his services, email bhanson@qlmarketing.com or call 617-901-6886. © 2009 Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced in any form by any means, nor may it be distributed without the permission of Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc., nor may it be resold by any entity other than Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc., without the prior written authorization of Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS”. ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED REPRESENTATIONS, CONDITIONS AND WARRANTIES, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ARE DISCLAIMED, EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH DISCLAIMERS ARE DETERMINED TO BE ILLEGAL. © 2009 Quantum Leap Marketing, Inc. Page 11