Nearly eight in 10 of the nation's smallest companies (79%) say marketing is a major success factor for their business and nearly one-half (46%) of such firms, or microbusinesses, say they are using some type of social media for marketing, according to a survey from Vistaprint.

Microbusinesses, small firms with 1-10 employees, are typically local, and have fewer than 60 customers. Such firms account for an estimated 95% of all US businesses, or some 26.5 million companies. 

Traditional direct marketing is still important to microbusiness owners: 40% say they use the channel, followed by online direct marketing (36%) and online advertising (19%).

But appetites are waning for some traditional channels: 66% of microbusiness owners say they have no interest in the Yellow Pages and 59% have no interest in TV, radio, and newspaper.

With limited marketing budgets, microbusinesses are moving to social and online channels due to the lower costs and easier tools that now exist to help them grow, according to Vistaprint.

Below, other findings from Vistaprint's survey of 1,100 microbusiness owners.

Sources of Marketing Information

Most microbusinesses seek out advice and counsel on marketing from friends and family (52%), followed by the Internet (49%), and other microbusinesses they interact with locally (33%).

Very few actually leverage public resources such as the offices of the local Small Business Administration (6%) or Chamber of Commerce (10%).

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Channel Importance: Microbusinesses Favor "Tried and True"

Traditional direct marketing is cited as the most important channel for microbusinesses (25%), followed by TV, Radio & Newspaper (17%). Just 3% of microbusiness owners cite the Yellow Pages as their most important marketing channel.

With resource and time constraints a continuous challenge, microbusinesses were asked which marketing channels they would use more of if given more money or time.

With more money, 45% of microbusiness owners would use more traditional direct-mail marketing, while 41% would opt for TV, Radio & Newspaper.

With more time, 39% of microbusiness owners would once again use more traditional direct marketing, but many would opt for digital channels, such as social media (38%) or online direct marketing (36%).

About the data: Findings are from a survey of 1,100 microbusiness owners who are customers of Vistaprint, conducted in April 2010.  

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