HP Survey Reveals Top U.S. Small Business Marketing Challenges

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Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of all small businesses said they lacked full confidence in their marketing decisions, according to the results of a U.S. survey released today by HP. Furthermore, nearly half (46 percent) said they did not have general marketing expertise and 60 percent felt their small business marketing could be more effective.

What do you have to say?

    The survey, conducted by International Communications Research (ICR), also found that only 33 percent of small businesses had created marketing collateral and a mere 27 percent had designed an official company logo. On average, small businesses expect to grow 27 percent over the next two years. Unsurprisingly considering this anticipated growth, the desire to reach new customers was cited as the primary reason (61 percent) small businesses are seeking more effective marketing strategies.

Other major survey findings include:

-- 46 percent of small businesses were not satisfied with the time currently spent on marketing their companies.

-- 27 percent rated their current marketing efforts as highly effective.

-- Only 18 percent of small businesses felt they were capable of creating in-house marketing collateral.

-- The top two reasons cited by small businesses as to why they would want to create marketing collateral in-house are reducing costs (39 percent) and convenience/speed (33 percent).

In an effort to help small businesses with their marketing and branding efforts, HP recently launched the "What do you have to say?" Small Business Contest. Prizes include a Logoworks by HP "Start Up Package" to help refresh or create their brand image and a printing package to print professional-quality marketing collateral in-house.

The contest runs through Feb. 28, 2008. To submit an entry and for more details on terms and conditions of the contest, visit http://www.hp.com/go/brandcontest.

Methodology

The study was conducted in ICR's SmallBizEXCEL Omnibus, a national monthly telephone omnibus service. The SmallBizEXCEL survey consisted of a standard set of introductory questions supplemented by a changing series of questions on various topics, as contracted by HP.

For the survey, ICR completed 500 interviews with a broad sample of small business owners and managers over a two week period. Targets were established based on the number of employees, type of business and region. In the end, the results are balanced by these three variables to reflect the competitive marketplace of small businesses.

About HP

HP focuses on simplifying technology experiences for all of its customers -- from individual consumers to the largest businesses. With a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure, HP is among the world's largest IT companies, with revenue totaling $107.7 billion for the four fiscal quarters ended Jan. 31, 2008. More information about HP (NYSE:HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

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Cherie Britt
HP
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