By Gabie Boko, EVP of Marketing at Sage North America. Special for USDR.
It seems like all eyes are on the Super Bowl – and in many ways they are. The game is among the most watched sporting events in the world – and a lot of those viewers were probably tuned into watch the commercials alone.
Thanks to the critical mass of viewers who watch the game each year – and the wide demographics that do – airing commercials during the Super Bowl has become a mark of pride for advertisers. And there’s a high cost to go along with it. At Super Bowl XLVII the average cost of a 30-second advertisement was around $4 million.
Even with the opportunity for so much exposure, we found in a recent survey from Sage found that small business owners were more interested in focusing on local reach instead of a national audience. According to the survey, 61% of small business owners said that a national commercial during the Super Bowl would have no effect on their business, while only 37 percent stated it would help their business.
There’s so much buzz each year around the Super Bowl and advertising’s impact on businesses, Sage wanted to understand the advertising needs of SMBs. The survey confirmed what we have consistently heard from our 3 million-plus small and medium-sized business customers: Local is where businesses get the biggest bang for their buck – not national.
Sage customer Merrill Allen of Harpoon Brewery was one of the participants in our survey, and he explained that more than 70 percent of their business comes from New England- and more than 50 percentfrom customers locally in Boston. “[We’re] a prime example of a business that would not necessarily benefit from a Super Bowl commercial. The best return on investment we can receive is through local and regional advertising as that’s where our customers are,” he explained.
Advertising at a local level can help businesses achieve one of their major goals – bringing in new customers. It isn’t surprising that 82 percent of small business owners stated that attracting new customers is important to their company. However, nearly a quarter of respondents aren’t doing any advertising or marketing for their businesses.
Those businesses that are advertising or marketing find that the most effective methods include:
- Public relations (75%)
- Signs or billboards (71%)
- Advertising in local publications (66%)
- Local sponsorships (62%)
Most small business marketing efforts are being executed by the owner him or herself – 74 percent of respondents reported that they did not have a dedicated person for marketing and/or communications activities.
Clearly, advertising to a local audience is important for small business owners, but many may have difficulty putting together the resources to make it happen.
Sage is aiming to help that with the Sage Local Advertising Contest, which began January 28. One lucky business in the U.S. and one lucky business in Canada have the chance to win a local advertising package worth $15,000.
As part of the prize, winners will receive $10,000 in local digital advertising media, as well as a strategy session with a top advertising firm. The session will include help with the creation of a strategy, as well as the creative assets for the advertising campaign, and is valued at $5,000.
Small businesses can get the details and enter to win the sweepstakes at SageLocalAdvertising.com. The sweepstakes will run through February 7, and the winners will be announced through theSage Facebook Page on February 10.
When it comes to nationwide advertising opportunities like the Super Bowl, small business owners are better off concentrating where they can make the biggest impact – locally. With the Sage Local Advertising Contest, they can achieve their goals of attracting new, local customers.