Poll Results Reveal Best Advice For SMBs to Grow Their Business

survey-says

Image courtesy of http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk

Last week, I asked readers to weigh in on our poll to see what they felt is the best piece of advice a SMB owner needs to help them grow their business.

There were 5 possible answers: Develop a marketing strategy, Hire a professional marketing agency, Try online marketing, Track your marketing tactics, Engage in social media networks, or All of the above.

The poll revealed that “Develop a marketing strategy” was the top piece of advice people felt a SMB owner needs to help them grow their business. This was followed closely by “Engage in social media”. In third place was “Hire a professional marketing agency” then “Track your marketing tactics” and very surprisingly in at last place was “ Try online marketing”.

I was encouraged by the results from this poll, as it seems to suggest that SMB owners understand the importance of needing a marketing strategy; something I firmly believe to be true, but it was a positive outcome of the poll.  The fact that marketing strategy was followed so closely by  “Engaging in social media” indicated to me that having a social media presence is important, but one must have a strategy before jumping into this medium – something I also fervently believe to be true.

I found it equally encouraging that people would advise business owners to “Hire a professional marketing agency” and “Track your marketing tactics”. We must be honest with ourselves; it is ok if marketing is not our strength or forte, and we need marketing experts to help us grow our businesses.

Although “Track your marketing tactics” ranked fourth in the poll, I want to highlight the importance of this step. If you don’t “Track your marketing tactics” it can be a huge downfall to the success of your marketing results.  As a marketer, tracking marketing results is key for when running campaigns or other marketing tactics, as based on the results of a campaign we make decisions as to further investment, making tweaks to the campaign and setting the expected return on investment (ROI).

With all the hype of online marketing these days, it was surprising to see “Try online marketing” rank as low as it did. It was clear that people felt you must have a strategy beyond all other things and then tactics like social media, tracking and online marketing would all fall into place afterwards.  Clearly voters felt that creating a social media presence far exceeds the need for online marketing.

How About You?

Were you surprised at the results of this poll?  Is there other advice you’d give a SMB owner that was not in this poll?   I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.

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