In Tough Economy, Large Enterprises Look to Tap Growth Potential in Small & Medium Businesses

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Warrillow & Co. Sees Signs of Strong SMB Optimism; Announces American Express, Cisco, Covad, FedEx and Intuit as Finalists for Small Business Marketer of the Year Award

Challenging economic times demand more insightful, distinctive and measurable marketing programs. Many large companies fail to rise to the occasion as they continue to rely on approaches that were marginally successful in easier times

Warrillow & Co., an advisory services and market insights company that helps large enterprises get inside the head of the small business owner, today announced key research findings that point to stronger than expected optimism in the SMB (Small and Medium Business) market segment. The company also announced the shortlist of nominees for its inaugural Warrillow Small Business Marketer of the Year Award, to be presented in Las Vegas at the annual Warrillow Summit running May 12th to 14th.

Contrary to widespread fears of U.S. economic recession, 62 percent of more than 2000 surveyed small businesses said that six months from now they expect the economy, in general, to be better or the same as it is today. Nearly 81 percent said they expect the volume of goods and services they will sell in the next three to six months to be higher or unchanged when compared to current levels. And while small businesses aren't anticipating major capital investments in the near future, that's not stopping large enterprises from focusing more of their marketing attention on the small business market opportunity.

According to the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration, SMBs with fewer than 500 employees account for 99.9 percent of 26.8 million businesses in the U.S. Large enterprises are recognizing that with declining or flat revenue growth in their consumer segments, new marketing investments are required to take advantage of anticipated growth in the small business segment. Recent Warrillow spending forecasts estimate that 46 percent of large enterprises plan to spend more than USD $25 million on small business marketing in 2008, compared to 44 percent in 2007. In addition, 16 percent of large enterprises plan to spend USD $10 million to $25 million, up from 12 percent in 2007.

"Our research shows that not only are small business owners not predicting contraction in their businesses, large enterprises are recognizing that they need to be more aggressive in marketing to the small business owner," said John Warrillow, CEO, Warrillow & Co. "This is the right time to pay attention to what large enterprises are doing right when it comes to understanding the needs of small business customers. The first annual Warrillow Small Business Marketer of the Year Award is designed to increase awareness of best practices in the enterprise business community, and recognize the most innovative and successful small business marketing programs run by large enterprises."

The five finalists selected for the Warrillow Small Business Marketer of the Year Award are, in alphabetical order: American Express, Cisco, Covad, FedEx and Intuit. The five finalists were shortlisted from a group of 30 entries, which in turn were drawn from a long-list of more than 70 nominations. Each of these companies ran marketing programs directly targeting decision-makers in the SMB segment, and were required to provide compelling ROI (Return on Investment) metrics to back up the success of their campaigns. The winner was selected by a panel of small business industry experts, independent of Warrillow & Co.

"Challenging economic times demand more insightful, distinctive and measurable marketing programs. Many large companies fail to rise to the occasion as they continue to rely on approaches that were marginally successful in easier times," said John Ellet, CEO, of nFusion and co-judge of the Warrillow Awards. "These five finalists demonstrated that they understood the pain points of small business owners. More importantly, they created campaigns that spoke directly to these points, they engaged the SMB owners in innovative ways and provided tangible results upon which the success of the campaign could be judged."

The winner of the 2008 Warrillow Small Business Marketer of the Year Award will be announced at a special panel presentation on May 13th at the Warrillow Summit in Las Vegas. For more information about the Warrillow Summit 2008, please visit http://www.warrillow.com. For more information about the Warrillow Small Business Marketer of the Year Award, please visit http://www.nfusion.com/warrillowawards/.

About Warrillow & Co.
The Warrillow Subscriber Network is an advisory service for enterprise companies targeting the Small & Medium Business (SMB) segment. Members receive market research insight along with sales and marketing advice for capitalizing on the SMB market opportunity. Warrillow Subscriber Network members meet regularly through a series of conferences and workshops to exchange ideas for targeting SMB and discuss potential partnerships. http://www.warrillow.com.

About nFusion
nFusion is a digital-centric marketing agency that plans, executes and measures integrated customer engagement programs. It blends marketing strategy, media, creative and technology to create demand and build brands for client companies. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, nFusion is one of the fastest growing agencies in the country and can be found online at http://www.nfusion.com.

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