Looking back on a year that saw dramatic shifts in marketing practices shows just how much modern small businesses need to boost their publicity and advertising game.
The main shift was toward the internet, as the value of marketing strategies such as search engine optimization and email became increasingly apparent. According to a study by Forrester Research, marketers spent roughly $26 billion in online marketing this year, significantly rivaling total investment in TV and radio.
"Online marketing enables companies to track each spent penny and is proven to deliver a really big ROI," said Nelson James, president of SEO.com. "It's probably the biggest reason why more are shifting their marketing budgets. As a result, traditional advertising is getting the leftovers of the marketing budget."
Nonetheless, print remains the dominant marketing format, but according to MagnaGlobal online spending is expected to surpass print by 2013. Another recent survey by SEMPO found that 49 percent of businesses are shifting money away from print and putting it toward search engine optimization.
However, very few suspect online media will overtake print entirely. Most expect effective marketing strategies to evolve into integrated campaigns that utilize a variety of different sources.