Time to Startup!

The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.

Current Marketing Trends and the Future of the Web

Published on May 5, 2011

Summary

Read 'Current Marketing Trends and the Future of the Web' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
For both small businesses and entrepreneurs forming a company, marketing is perhaps their most important resource in generating buzz and establishing a relationship with consumers and prospective customers. But as important as marketing is, it is not insulated from the consequences of economic downturns, as businesses, particularly small ones, cut back on spending and turn their focus toward mere survival. However, conditions are beginning to change. A survey released last month by American Express OPEN found that small businesses are, for the first time since 2006, shifting their priorities away from simple maintenance and are instead focusing on growth and expansion. The transition in priorities reflects a number of recent economic trends showing improving conditions for businesses, markets and consumers alike. While the recovery is nowhere near complete, the trajectory has convinced many economists, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, that a substantial rise in activity can be expected later this year. "We've sputtered a bit here," Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities, told Bloomberg in reference to the first quarter's slowing of U.S. gross domestic product. "Consumers are going to continue to spend. Growth should pick up toward the 3 percent level [later this year]." Still, many question how these trends are impacting the world of marketing, which continues to be the defining factor in businesses' ability to raise awareness and brand recognition. A survey released this week by FedEx Office may provide some answers. According to the report, 55 percent of small business owners are planning to invest in advertising and marketing strategies this year, compared to only 42 percent recorded last year. But perhaps more interesting is what channels companies are devoting their marketing resources towards, as the survey also found 53 percent of respondents plan to utilize traditional marketing and advertising channels - such as print, radio or television - and 35 percent intend to distribute their strategies equally among web and print mediums. "In the past decade, businesses looking to reach their core customers flocked to the internet to break free of the traditional marketing clutter," said Randy Scarborough, vice president of marketing for FedEx Office. "Yet today it seems that web marketing may be just as overcrowded, and small businesses may struggle to find their voice."