Ad-ology Forecast: More than a Quarter of US Small Businesses Plan to Spend More on Online Video, Social Media Marketing in 2010

WESTERVILLE, Ohio – Small business owners are hoping to engage customers in new ways in 2010. According to Ad-ology Research, 28% of small business owners say they plan to spend more on online video in 2010, up 75% over last year’s plans. Twenty five percent say the same about social networking, while 21% plan to commit more resources to mobile advertising.

“They’re still using traditional media, but they’re embracing these emerging media types as a way to take their business to the next level”

Facebook was ranked the most beneficial social network for small business, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter. These owners say the top business benefits of social networking are lead generation, keeping up with the industry, and monitoring the online conversation about their business.

E-mail marketing continues to be the most popular online marketing method for small businesses, but these numbers show increased acceptance for emerging media since last year’s study.

“Small business owners understand that the marketing landscape is changing, and they need to connect with consumers in new ways,” said C. Lee Smith, president and CEO of Ad-ology Research. “They’re still using traditional media, but they’re embracing these emerging media types as a way to take their business to the next level,” Smith said.

Twenty-nine percent plan increased advertising spending overall, targeting increased resources to online, direct mail, and newspaper advertising.

The Ad-ology Small Business Marketing Forecast reveals small business owners are generally hopeful, with more predicting increased sales in 2010 versus 2009, and one in five expressing optimism about the economy.

Other key findings from the study:

31% say they don’t use social media because their customers don’t use social media.
More than one-third of these business owners plan to spend more time writing white papers and e-articles.
52% of small business owners surveyed plan to devote more resources to cause marketing in 2010.
42% plan to participate in trade shows or conferences, and the percentage of these planning to spend on trade publications increased 18% from last year.
The study was conducted in November 2009 by Ad-ology Research to analyze the attitudes and marketing plans of small business owners. The Small Business Marketing Forecast is available for purchase through the Research Store at


Ad-ology Research analyzes key marketing and advertising trends in over 440 industries and what motivates end-customers. The company’s research is used by over 2,000 advertising agencies, media properties, local governments, and product marketing departments across the United States. Ad-ology Research is a division of Sales Development Services (SDS), Inc. – a Westerville, Ohio firm founded in 1989.


Ad-ology Research surveyed an online panel of 1100 owners of U.S. businesses with less than 100 employees in November 2009. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 2.95 percentage points.