70 Percent of Small Businesses Plan to Increase Digital Marketing Spend


A lot more small business owners plan to increase their digital marketing spend in 2017. Spending will focus on social, mobile, and email campaigns.

Seventy percent of small to medium sized businesses polled said they will increase their digital/web-based marketing budgets in the new year.

That’s according to GetResponse, an email marketing software solution serving over 350,000 small businesses, marketers and brands.

GetResponse recently commissioned a study to examine expected digital marketing investments among US-based small and medium-sized businesses in 2017.



The study polled 200 US-based small to medium sized business decision makers at the end of 2016, and also looked into the channels most likely to drive spending. The study findings were eye-opening.

Of the companies indicating in the poll they would increase their budgets, 30 percent said the budget will “increase considerably,” while 40 percent said it will “increase somewhat.”

Projected Digital Marketing Spend in 2017

According to the GetResponse study, 28 percent of the remaining businesses polled said their budget would remain unchanged. Only 2 percent said their digital marketing budgets would decrease in 2017.

“Digital marketing is vital for SMBs and our survey numbers bear that out,” said Simon Grabowski, GetResponse CEO and Founder. “Marketers are investing accordingly, given the substantial return on investment delivered through web-based campaigns.”

Social, Mobile and Email to Drive Digital Marketing Spend

The study also noted that social, mobile and email are poised to drive the spending surge this year. Of the small to medium sized business executives surveyed that projected increased marketing budgets in 2017, 59 percent said marketing on social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter will primarily drive that growth.

The next channel projected to drive digital marketing spend in 2017 is said to be mobile marketing (50 percent) — either app or web-based — followed by email marketing (42 percent).

Other channels driving growth are: video production (28 percent), “search marketing, including paid search” and “content creation and management” (both at 26 percent), “data collection and analytics” and “corporate website maintenance and development” (both at 23 percent), and, “commerce experiences” (16 percent).

Digital Charts Photo via Shutterstock

6 Comments ▼

David William


David William David William is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. He covers franchises, brick and mortar businesses, public policy and other small business issues. He is also founding editor of WebWriterSpotlight.

6 Reactions

  1. Good for these SMB owners to recognize the trends and act on them with real budget allocation. You could argue they’re a couple years late on many of these, but better late than never.

  2. This is good to hear. But everyone really needs to brush on their analytics, so they can see if their spend is actually working. Me included!

    The Franchise King®

  3. Hi David, I think that it is great news that SMB’s are going to be pushing ahead with digital advertising in 2017.

    One of the greatest things about digital marketing for small businesses is the fact that (set up properly) you can track and account for your spend. They can then fine tune their campaigns and hopefully get the most out of them.

    I am a little surprised that the focus is more on social advertising than regular PPC. From my experience social advertising takes a lot more work than adwords or Google shopping to get it delivering.

  4. Judging by my own personal experience, I’d agree wholeheartedly with this article. SMB’s are most DEFINITELY putting more money into digital marketing efforts, and we’re only tipping a toe into month 2 of 2017. I have seen a steady increase in my customers’ investments toward their digital marketing plans.

  5. Social, mobile and email are DEFINITELY what my clients are increasing their $$$ in this quarter. Most specifically focused on mobile optimization and social media push.

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