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Just 19 Percent of Small Business Owners Market With Google AdWords

The internet — whether desktop or mobile — is eating everything. Ad dollars everywhere from the news to Even the long-established power of TV ads is deminishing, as internet ad spend is set to pass up TV ad spend this year, according to the latest Mary Meeker Internet Trends report. Internet use overall is still growing ten percent year over year.

Which is why the latest stat on small business’s internet chops, from software review company G2 Crowd’s third quarterly research report “Crowd Views,” is a little sad: Digital marketing does not appear to be a priority for many.

“Nearly a quarter of small businesses (24 percent) surveyed are still investing in either newspaper ads or billboards,” I was told. “Only 19 percent of respondents use Google AdWords to reach potential customers. This figure declines as small businesses grow from 51-99 employees to 100-250 employees.”

The best option for a better digital media presence is probably looking towards a third-party service or individual to keep a small business’s social feeds packed: 51 percent of the survey’s respondents noted that outsourcing was “an important part” of their business plan.

But Small Businesses Still Value Tech

It’s not all bad: The G2 Crowd survey did find that improving technology is an important value to small businesses, particularly to the more growth-oriented ones.

“Forty percent of the respondents plan to increase IT spending this year, and among the growth-oriented businesses that jumps to 47 percent,” G2 Crowd mentioned in their recent blogpost.


“As for the types of systems the small businesses used or planned to use, a large number had some form of core IT systems such as accounting, payroll, marketing and CRM. IT systems related to collaboration and work execution, which include team collaboration, project management, and file sync and share/business content management, are being deployed and replaced at a much higher rate. This focus on IT systems that help with work coordination and execution is probably related to the need to maximize the effectiveness of limited resources.”

As companies grow, they can more efficiently add tech improvements like systematized payroll and accounting. Just don’t forget to set aside a thousand a month for an inexpensive digital marketing expert to help you stay fresh in your followers’ minds.

Read more about digital marketing strategies at TechCo

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Adam is a writer at and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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