Ask any business owner where they are headed in the next few years, and the responses will contain a mix of optimism, determination, and caution. When asked what the biggest impact will be on their business, the responses lend themselves to two top areas: marketing and tech.

With respect to marketing, aspirations center around reaching consumers in the right context & improving long term retention. Indeed, according to a recent survey of over 3500 small and medium sized businesses (SMBs):

  • 43% of SMBs are banking on social media marketing
  • 30% of SMBs are relying on mobile marketing
  • 23% of SMBs have faith in loyalty marketing
  • 19% of SMBs have hopes for location-based marketing
  • 15% of SMBs believe in the power of their CRM software
  • 13% of SMBs are hoping that marketing automation will help

Of course, aspirations are not without challenges. In the same survey, SMBs confessed that:

  • 32% need help with social media marketing
  • 25% need help with mobile marketing
  • 22% need help with paid search advertising
  • 18% need help with location based marketing
  • 17% need help making sense of customer analytics
  • 16% need help with their CRM systems

The list goes on. Engagement marketing is pivotal for SMBs, and yet it remains an area of uncertainty.  Indeed, of the dozens of areas where SMBs confided they need help, social media topped the list, and marketing related activities were cited more prominently than tech related concerns.

Why is this?

In some respects, social media marketing still faces a plethora of myths that simply aren’t true. (More on that here.)

Beyond the myths, the era of surface level engagement is a wave that’s come and gone. Marketers need — and now often seek — a deeper relationship with their audiences.  To make a splash on their bottom line, they must first create a pool of equity with their consumers, a pool that comes from meaningful engagement throughout the brand relationship lifecycle, a pool that is fed from the spring of effective social media marketing.

Fortunately, that spring can be infused with tech that’s intuitive.