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Ennect and Duquesne University’s Small Business Development Center Conduct Survey on PA Business Technology Use

Posted on | November 4, 2009 | No Comments

Pennsylvania businesses appear slow to adopt new emarketing technologies according to a survey sponsored by Ennect and Duquesne University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

 Survey chart-small





Ennect and the SBDC conducted the survey in preparation for the 4th Annual Pennsylvania Business Technology Conference, scheduled for November 12th at Duquesne University. The Conference was created in 2005 to help small- to medium-sized businesses utilize the latest emarketing practices and information technology tools to drive sales, cut costs, expand outreach and build their brands. 

The SBDC survey measured the status of technology on regional organizations. According to its findings, only 42% of the region’s organizations have social media marketing strategies in place and only 9% plan a move into social media channels. This is in comparison with a recent Equation Research report that shows a small business social media adoption rate of 59% and a “planning to implement” rate of 28%. (A separate survey, conducted by Babson Executive Education and Mzinga across a variety of industries nationwide, reported that 86% have adopted social technologies.)

Of the 42% of Pennsylvania companies using social media, only 12% identified it as a “tremendous asset” with 21% indicating an impact on brand awareness, 16% reporting results in generating leads, 10% indicating increased sales, and 9% reducing marketing costs.  In contrast, the September 2009 McKinsey Quarterly Global Survey found 52% of respondents used Web 2.0 tools because of increased marketing effectiveness, 43% reported higher customer satisfaction, and 38% reduced marketing costs.

LinkedIn was the clear winner among regional organizations for promoting products and services with 22% maintaining a presence on the fast-growing professional social networking site, followed by Facebook (18%), and Twitter (12%). Interestingly, Twitter has grown to become the most adopted social media tool nationally, with 54% of Fortune 100 companies having a Twitter presence, according to a July 2009 Burson-Marsteller survey.

Also, despite the fact that online video sharing is exploding — with 144 million online viewers in the U.S. this year alone and projected growth to 154 million in 2010 — regional organizations appear to be less inclined to use sites like YouTube than their national counterparts. The McKinsey Quarterly Global Survey reported 48% of respondents felt that video sharing sites had customer-related benefits.  

Regional businesses do appear to be tracking national trends1 in keeping investments flat in traditional marketing channels (print, radio, TV, direct mail, and even email marketing), while increasing – albeit slightly – investments in interactive online and search engine marketing. 

While increased globalization is driving adoption of videoconferencing elsewhere, the technology hasn’t seemed to penetrate Pennsylvania businesses.  Only 20% of respondents reported using audio-video teleconferencing, 24% use voice-only teleconferencing, and 34% have not adopted this technology.

Ironically, when asked about whether they were keeping up with changing technology, most survey respondents indicated they “felt like they were on track with keeping up with changing technology and online marketing.”


1 According to a Q2 2009 survey by Round2 and reported in eMarketer, print ads were chosen 39% of the time for cuts with direct mail following close behind with 36%.

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