The future of hyper local advertising?

An interesting survey from a US online network of local business owner Merchant Circle.

The survey, completed by 8,456 total responses from local business owners across the United States looked at the usual information on business confidence, however there was an important examination of attitudes/spending on local online marketing opportunities such as FourSquare and Groupon.

First, just over quarter have stated that they are going to increase advertising spending in the next three months, with nearly 60% keeping spending the same.

Marketing expenditures

How do you expect your marketing/advertising expenditures to change over the next three months?

More importantly though, over 70% have stated that they are using Facebook with a further 8.9% stating they intend to start. Google isn’t far behind on 66% with 7% intending to start.
The more interesting ones are Facebook Places, Youtube, Foursquare and Groupon. Currently 32% are using Facebook Places, with 12% intending to start. Youtube has just over 1/4 using it currently, but there is a massive 16.4% intending to start. Foursquare is used by 8.7% but use is looking to nearly double with 7.6% intending to use, however over 1/4 of respondents have never heard of Foursquare. Groupon however is showing the best potential growth. At the moment only 6.6% of Small Business Owners surveyed are using it, however 13% intend to start, potentially tripling its usage by small advertisers.
Adoption of specific online marketing services
Are you promoting your business with the following websites/services?

Marketing budgets for these companies are also small, with over half spending less than US$2,500 per annum.
Marketing budget

What is your annual ad/marketing budget?

Finally, those surveyed were asked what the THREE most effective marketing channels were with Mobile Media and creating a Social Networking profile coming out on top.
Most effective marketing channels

Select the top THREE most effective marketing or advertising methods your business uses or has used.

For the full run-down on the survey, click here
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