DirectoryM is an online advertising network specializing in helping businesses find local customers through targeted online advertising. One of their recent surveys of small- to medium-sized business (SMB) customers revealed that more than 52 percent of SMBs' total advertising budgets are now being allocated to online advertising, with 37 percent of SMBs planning to increase their online advertising spend in 2006.
The survey results also indicate that an SMB's website is becoming a critical element of the SMB marketing mix, with 62 percent of SMBs currently attempting to optimize their websites for search engines. In addition, almost half of the respondents stated that they plan on adding Cost-Per-Click advertising to their marketing mix.
Even with these planned increases in advertising budgets and initiatives, 95 percent of SMBs still manage their online advertising campaigns independently. While small business owners are eager to try new online marketing methods, they are also conscious of how much time they spend on managing their online campaigns.
When asked how they measured the success of their online advertising, 78.6 percent indicated that their key measure of success is the number of leads they received while 52.4 percent cited customer acquisition or dollar amount of business closed as a measure of success.