What’s New in
Digital Marketing?

We’ve just released our 2020 results.  Discover what’s new.


In 2010, we saw social media becoming an integral part of the marketing for businesses of all sizes. While there was already lots of data on what companies like Coke and Pepsi were doing online, there wasn’t much information about small businesses embracing these new platforms.

That’s when we launched our first internet marketing study to understand how small businesses are using online tools. Since then we have collected data from thousands of small business.

Over the years we’ve added new questions, but many of the topics have been tracked consistently for the last nine years. We’ve seen the rise of new platforms and the declines of old ones. There has also been a shift in how business owners think and feel about digital tools.

When we started asking questions there was optimism that online marketing would solve every problem a small business owner faced if they simply participated, everywhere.  In recent years, we have seen business owners take a more realistic view.  Some of the most interesting trends we have seen emerge in recent studies include:

  • Shift to use as a broadcast tool – Once considered a place to make connections and gather information, firms are relying more on digital marketing for outbound broadcasting and advertising.
  • Decline in overall usage – Business owners are relying on social media and content less for business operations such as lead generation, building professional networks, and customer service.
  • Decline in ROI measures – While business owners say they are measuring ROI, when we dive into the data they are actually measuring less.
  • Rise of Instagram – While not yet as dominant as Facebook or LinkedIn, Instagram has booted Twitter out of the number three spot.

Will these trends continue?  What else will we learn? We won’t know the answers to those and other questions unless you take the time to complete the survey.  It contains 24 multiple choice questions so it will take just a few minutes to complete.   And you will recieve report updates as we create them.