Not Every Small Business Prioritizes Marketing

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Whether or not it's to their detriment, some companies simply aren't interested in marketing, and probably never will be.

Marketing has evolved into an integral aspect of digital culture. Everyone is a marketer to some degree. We market our events and meetings on social media. We market our friendships, our location. On some level, social media has turned everyone into a brand and we've all adopted marketing practices into our daily social lives. As a result, marketing has become an important aspect of individuals' lives--but some small businesses actually don't care much for the practice or simply can't afford it, according to a recent study by marketing software company Infusionsoft.

The study (conducted by research company Audience Audit) surveyed 837 small business owners, interviewing them about several topics, including challenges and goals, demographics, resources, and their feelings on business ownership. Respondants were placed in attitudinal segments based on their answers. From these segments Infusionsoft created four small business profiles, two of which engage little in marketing, if at all.

Passionate Creators

“These people tend to start businesses out of a love for their craft and take great pride in doing in their companies,” says Lindsay Bayuk, director of product at Infusionsoft and the overseer of the study. Passionate Creators were 46% more likely to spend more than $500 a month on marketing than other respondents, and are the most likely of the four groups to use CRM and marketing automation technology. This group is more likely to email their own lists and use social media for marketing. Additionally, these owners are more likely to support business and marketing decisions with analytics. Unsurprisingly, this segment generates the most revenue.

Freedom Seekers

This group tends to value control and flexibility above all else. “The freedom seekers in business want the freedom that comes with being their own boss and live the life they choose,” Bayuk says. These people prioritize time more than anything. As such, they are similar to Passionate Creators in their use of automation technology. They're 61% more likely to use email marketing automation than other business owners. “Freedom Seekers aren't motivated by revenue per se,” Bayuk notes. “These folks want more time. Money isn't the only measure of success for this group.”

Struggling Survivors

“Struggling Survivors are distinct because they've considered closing their business due to the challenges they face,” Bayuk explains. According to the study, 51% of Struggling Survivors are the sole employee at their company. This solitary management leaves little time to implement a sound marketing strategy.

Legacy Builders

As implied by their title, legacy builders are in business to build familial empires, ones that they can pass down to future generations. “[Legacy Builders] are pragmatic. For them, marketing tech may be fairly new and may not be the most practical investment of time and resources,” Bayuk says, adding that Legacy Builders are the least likely of the four groups to have a website (45%). “Many legacy businesses are driven through word of mouth.” 

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