SMB Advertisers Undeterred by Current Economic Environment; 81% Plan to Maintain or Increase Ad Spending Over Next 12 Months, According to The Kelsey Group

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The Kelsey Group releases findings from the latest wave of the Local Commerce Monitor, an ongoing study of SMB advertising behaviors. Highlights include: SMBs continue to adopt Web 2.0 technologies and invest in media that demonstrate ROI. Data will be featured at The Kelsey Group's upcoming Directional Media Strategies 2008 conference, Sept. 15-17 in Atlanta.

There's an opportunity for media that can demonstrate ROI to tap into SMBs' future advertising plans.

The current economic climate has not diminished the advertising plans of small and medium-sized businesses. According to the latest wave of the Local Commerce Monitor, an ongoing study of SMB advertising behaviors conducted by The Kelsey Group and ConStat, 81 percent of SMBs surveyed expect to maintain (47 percent) or increase (34 percent) their spending on advertising over the next 12 months, with only 9 percent planning to decrease ad spending.

SMBs surveyed stated the primary influences on their advertising spending decisions are:

  • Performance/return on investment (31 percent)
  • Business partner or competitor (25 percent)
  • Information from media such as newspapers, TV and trade publications (14 percent)
  • Friends or family members (12 percent)

"The data reveal a remarkable resilience of the SMB advertising segment in the face of economic pressures on local consumers and businesses," said Stephen Marshall, director, research and consulting, The Kelsey Group. "There's an opportunity for media that can demonstrate ROI to tap into SMBs' future advertising plans."

A large percentage of surveyed SMBs said they expect to continue to adopt Web 2.0 technologies over the next 12 months: 40 percent plan to add customer reviews to their own Web sites; 30 percent will add links or place ads on social sites or blogs; and 26 percent will incorporate video on their Web sites.

SMB advertising trends will be a primary focus of The Kelsey Group's upcoming conference, Directional Media Strategies 2008 (DMS '08: The Multiplatform Opportunity), Sept. 15-17, 2008, Atlanta, Georgia. Attendees will learn more about The Kelsey Group's latest research findings and data analysis and how they relate to the future of the directional media industry in sessions like The Customer's Perspective; Selling in a Down Economy; The Online Video Opportunity; and Mobile Local Search - What's the Role for Yellow Pages Publishers?

About Local Commerce Monitor
Local Commerce Monitor is The Kelsey Group's annual tracking survey of small and medium-sized businesses, conducted with research partner ConStat since 1999. The survey measures where SMBs are spending their advertising and promotional budgets and how their media usage and spending habits are evolving. Local Commerce Monitor draws its sample of business respondents from a mix of nationally scoped MSAs, which include first- and second-tier markets. Local Commerce Monitor Wave XII was conducted in August 2008 via an online survey of 300 SMBs.

About DMS '08: The Multiplatform Opportunity
Directional Media Strategies 2008 (DMS '08: The Multiplatform Opportunity) is The Kelsey Group's 29th Yellow Pages and directories conference (formerly Directory Driven Commerce - DDC: The Future of Yellow Pages), attracting the widest and most diverse audience of senior executives from across the global directional media industry. The conference agenda reflects the challenges and opportunities presented by the changing local media landscape. Sessions will cover the priorities of today's traditional and online publishers, which must balance the need to focus on the basics--selling and publishing the best directory products they can in the current economy--while finding ways to achieve sustainable, long-term growth and strategic advantage in a multiplatform marketplace.

Conference sponsors include Acxiom, Adfare, AgendiZe, Amdocs, AT&T Real Yellow Pages, Call Genie, Exalead, Imagine Local, infoUSA, Local Matters,, Localeze, Marchex, MediaTraks, Mixpo, Spotzer, and Telmetrics. Association partners include Association of Directory Marketing (ADM), Association of Directory Publishers (ADP), International Classified Media Association (ICMA) and Yellow Pages Association (YPA). For more information about DMS '08: The Multiplatform Opportunity, visit the DMS '08 Conference Web Site.

About The Kelsey Group
The Kelsey Group is the leading provider of research, data and strategic analysis on directories, small-business advertising, online local media, vertical market advertising and mobile advertising. Founded in 1986, the company has built a reputation as the premier analyst firm covering the directory publishing community and the emerging local search marketplace, providing advisory services (The Kelsey Report®, Interactive Local Media and Marketplaces), publishing (Global Yellow Pages™), consulting (more than 400 individual assignments) and conferences (72 events). For more information about The Kelsey Group, visit The Kelsey Group.


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