Digital marketing is no longer just for big businesses. Small businesses like grocery stores, bakeries and CPAs are discovering the value of digital marketing, and they are seeking help from specialists in the field, especially startups.
Small companies may have many goals for delving into digital marketing, but a chief one seems to be so that they can get better at social media. A number of digital marketing companies are focusing on small and medium-sized businesses as well, and many of these are looking to raise money through venture capital.
Technology companies that offer marketing solutions are also seeing small businesses as an opportunity. Salesforce and others are developing solutions specifically for small companies.
Chris Herbert, who is a spokesperson for Smart 1 Marketing, says that he has noticed that small companies have been looking to hire nascent digital marketing firms. He says that they are choosing these types of companies because of price. He says that they just do not have the means to pay a high monthly retainer fee. His Ohio-based company provides small businesses with online marketing campaigns, as well as websites. They have around 30 employees and $5 million in revenue, and they hope to double the latter figure before the year ends.
Another digital marketing company that focuses on small businesses is Vendasta Technologies. The Canada-based marketer has recently received more than $8 million in funding from Business Development Bank of Canada and Vanedge Capital.
Then, there are companies like Buzzboard. The San Francisco company is building a platform that lets publishers and broadcasters reach small businesses, by utilizing both data mining of the Internet and artificial intelligence. It has clients such as Sinclair Broadcast Group, Hearst Corp. and Tribune Co., and they are looking to expand the technology to other industries, such as insurance and telecommunication.
John Matthews, who is an investment banker with Oaklins, DeSilva & Phillips and who focuses on marketing technology, believes that all three companies will grow in the next few years, as small businesses increasingly expand into digital marketing. He says that the world is becoming more and more digital, and that small businesses are learning that they have to adapt to this. He adds that digital marketing for small businesses has tremendous potential.