Marketing spend and allocation is a difficult issue for many businesses. But for small and medium size marketers (SMBs), it's even more important. When every dollar counts, you want to spend wisely. But according to a new study from BIA/Kelsey, SMBs that spend the most money on marketing are also allocating their spending more wisely.

The new “LCM: SMB Plus Spenders” survey asked 152 small and medium sized businesses that spent over $25,000 to answer a set of questions that had previously been asked of businesses in that demographic that had a smaller marketing spend.

The resulting answers seem to show that bigger spenders are also spending more thoughtfully.

These "Plus Spenders" put more of their money into online advertising. In the last year, Plus Spenders put 26% of their total ad budget on online media, versus 21.8% for core LCM SMBs, a difference of 4.2 points. 

In that space, ROI and click tracking are the most important ways of gauging effectiveness for Plus Spenders.

Companies that spend more money on advertising, also spend their money in more places. But their spend shift is notably more diverse. Plus spenders put their marketing efforts into more buckets — on average using 6.5 types of media to get their messaging across, compared to 3.1 kinds of media for the average small and medium size business marketer. 

Plus Spenders also put an appreciable amount of their total budget on broadcast media: 16.1% of their budget is spent on broadcast media compared with 1.3 percent for all small and medium sized businesses.

Not all marketers have $25,000 or more to spend on advertising their products. But there are some simple lessons to take from the study. For starters, 90% of BIA's Plus Spenders have fully functional websites, compared to only 62% of small and medium business generally.

Marketers don't need to spend huge budgets to know that a functioning website is good for business.

According to Steve Marshall,

"This group of SMBs, with its digital media savvy and use of more media categories, represents the sweet spot for many companies developing and delivering local advertising solutions.” 

Meghan Keane

Published 24 August, 2010 by Meghan Keane

Based in New York, Meghan Keane is US Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter: @keanesian.

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