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OutboundEngine conducted a survey of small businesses in the U.S. to determine their sentiment toward and knowledge of marketing, including their marketing strategies, time management, stressors and concerns. The survey titled “Stress, Time & Growth: Factors Affecting Small Business Marketing in 2019” found that 58% of small business owners spend five hours or less on marketing.

The findings also reveal that 28.5% of the respondents said they do not have enough money for a marketing initiative, 22.39% do not enough time, 14.25% cannot determine the best marketing strategy, 11.96% do not have the staff they need and 2.80% do not know where their customers are.

In terms of time and money spent on marketing, the survey found that 58.27% spend less than five hours a week for marketing efforts. Only 22.14% spend 5 to 10 hours a week on marketing, 2.34% spend 15 to 20 hours and 1.33% spending more than 20 hours. About 54.45% of business owners spend 5% of their revenue or less on marketing, and only 4.33% spend more than 20% of revenue on marketing.  

With regards to the type of successful marketing strategy, 39.72% said marketing via organic social media is the most effective strategy for them. This is followed by paid social media at 17.22%, email marketing at 9.72% and digital advertising at 8.06%. Events marketing came in at only 13.61% and traditional advertising at 11.67%.

According to OutboundEngine, business owners can overcome challenges with marketing automation solutions which would relieve owners of the time-consuming task of customer engagement and other marketing tasks and allow them to focus on running their business. OutboundEngine CEO Marc Pickren added that business owners must be willing to invest time and money in their marketing campaign because even automated marketing requires a weekly commitment.