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Grow Your Business Sales & Marketing

10 Trends Impacting the Future of Small Business Marketing

10 Trends Impacting the Future of Small Business Marketing
Credit: Shutter_M/Shutterstock

To succeed in today's competitive business environment, more and more small businesses are prioritizing marketing, new research finds.

In a recent study from email marketing provider Constant Contact, more than 70 percent of small business leaders said external forces, such as the economy and increased competition, have forced them to become better marketers.

In addition, most of the small businesses in the study have become more active marketers. The research revealed that 68 percent of the small businesses surveyed are marketing more today than they did two years ago.

However, just because small businesses are spending more time marketing, that doesn't mean they are spending more money on it. Just 34 percent of the businesses surveyed are planning to increase the amount of money they allocate to marketing in 2016. [The Key to Long Term Business Success? Great Marketing ]

Although the majority of those surveyed said their main marketing tactics today are word of mouth, email and websites, many have an eye on what the future of small business marketing may look like. More than half of those surveyed said streaming video is an emerging trend they think will play the biggest role in how they market in the years to come.

Other trends they expect to influence their marketing the most in the next two to three years include the following:

  • Internet of Things – 43 percent
  • Messaging apps – 37 percent
  • Podcasts – 22 percent
  • Sharing economy – 21 percent
  • Web-rooming/Showrooming – 16 percent
  • Big data – 15 percent
  • Crowdfunding – 15 percent
  • Wearables – 10 percent
  • 3D printing – 4 percent

"It's exciting to think about what the future holds for small businesses and how some seemingly advanced technologies will be incorporated into their daily marketing in a relatively short period of time," Christopher Litster, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Constant Contact, said in a statement. "The more comfortable they become with the power of technology to fuel their growth, the shorter many of the adoption cycles will become."

The study was based on surveys of 893 people running a small business who participate in the Constant Contact Small Biz Council, a research panel of U.S. small businesses and nonprofits recruited from the Constant Contact customer base.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.