The shift from traditional to digital media spend among SMBs has been underway for some time, and perceived value is the key driver of the shift. In short, SMBs think traditional media doesn’t deliver results that justify the price.
According to research conducted for the Local Search Association by Thrive Analytics, the number of SMBs who plan to decrease tradition spend outnumber those that plan to cut digital by 5X. Conversely, the digital increasers outnumber traditional increasers by nearly 4X.
The victims of the shift are, as you would expect, Yellow Pages, magazines, newspapers and radio. They could also be the beneficiaries of the shift if they align their sales channels with the opportunity and outfit them with technology that saves time and drives conversion.
Most cited when asked why they were taking money out of traditional media were “price too high” (70%) and “poor program performance” (60%).
The reasons for the shift, and the perceptions driving it, are many. Clearly, changing consumer behavior tops the list. But fundamental flows in how the products are positioned and sold play a role as well. Traditional sellers rarely sold on value, but rather pushed competitive positioning, vanity, fear, anything but a clear and believable statement of ROI. Once SMBs stopped fearing the consequences of not having that full page ad, the bottom fell out, and local media have been scrambling ever since.
The LSA/Thrive Analytics “Local Pulse Survey” uses a panel maintained by Thrive Analytics to draw more than 1,000 survey completions from B2C SMBs across seven vertical groupings.