How much time do you spend on marketing each week?
If you spend 20 hours per week on marketing your business, on average, then you’re not alone. So do other small businesses, according to a recent survey by Constant Contact. For many, the extra effort has paid dividends across several metrics.
But the report also vividly illustrates the challenge marketing is presenting to small businesses.
The challenge comes from the sheer number of venues and channels where small business owners can reach their customers. There’s been an explosion in online marketing choices, along with the traditional offline marketing options. It’s online marketing that’s consuming most of a small business owner’s time, the survey  (PDF) found.
Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman  pointed out how overwhelming marketing can be, given how many channels a typical small business may engage in:
“With the greater opportunities presented by multi-channel marketing come some challenges. Most small business owners are not marketing professionals and many tell us that the flood of new marketing tools, along with the need to be everywhere their customers are, from search engines, to mobile devices, to friends’ newsfeeds, can really be overwhelming.”
A small business owner — along with another employee — will spend an average of 20 hours per week on marketing, according to the survey.
Most of the business owners surveyed (82 percent) say they market their business across multiple platforms. That includes Web, email and social media, mostly. In addition, Constant Contact learned that 49 percent of the small business owners surveyed were using 3 or 4 vendors to help achieve their marketing goals.
The good news is that a large majority of those business owners who are devoting so much time to marketing across multiple platforms are reaping some benefits. Those benefits include new customers (57 percent), more Web traffic (54 percent), and increased revenues (40 percent).
Those who aren’t getting benefits point to the drawbacks of using multiple platforms including:
- not knowing how to use all the various tools;
- taking too much time;
- not being sure their customers are using all the channels the business is involved in; and
- not knowing how to measure success across different platforms.
Constant Contact surveyed just more than 1,300 small business owners who are part of its Small Biz Council, for the report.
The survey was designed to highlight the Constant Contact Toolkit , which is intended as a one-stop tool for a small business’s marketing campaigns. Constant Contact with its Toolkit is part of a growing movement among marketing vendors to attempt to simplify and make marketing more efficient for small business owners dealing with so many different marketing choices today.
Marketing  Photo via Shutterstock