BIA/Kelsey: Local Businesses Expected to Use Digital Tools to Lure Shoppers on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday

New findings from Wave XV of the Local Commerce Monitor study indicate SMBs are investing more on social media, web presence and performance management

Nov 22, 2011, 11:22 ET from BIA/Kelsey

CHANTILLY, Va., Nov. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As the holiday shopping trifecta of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday fast approaches, small and medium-sized businesses are flexing their local commerce muscle with an increasingly sophisticated mix of digital marketing tools and tactics. In the latest wave of Local Commerce Monitor (LCM Wave XV), BIA/Kelsey's ongoing tracking survey of small and medium-sized businesses conducted with research partner ConStat, SMBs report they allocated 37 percent of their total ad and promotional budget to digital/online media in the last 12 months. On average, they intend to increase their digital/online spending in the next 12 months to 40 percent of their total ad budget.

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"The data indicate SMBs are getting smarter in their use of digital and online media," said Steve Marshall, director of research, BIA/Kelsey. "They're focused on strengthening and enhancing their digital presence, engaging customers with social media and empirically measuring the performance of their online advertising initiatives."

Preliminary analysis of the study's findings reveals 53 percent of SMBs report using some form of social media to advertise their businesses.

In addition, 50 percent of SMBs report they actively analyze the performance of their advertising, including measuring cost effectiveness. An additional 23 percent report they plan to start doing this analysis.

Of SMBs with an online presence (website, landing page, Facebook page, Google Places page, etc.):

  • 69 percent report they update their online presence at least once a month
  • 27 percent pay for regular assistance in updating their online presence
  • 25 percent report using an Internet service or program to help monitor or manage customer ratings, reviews or comments about their businesses

BIA/Kelsey will present highlights from LCM Wave XV at its upcoming conference, Interactive Local Media West (ILM West: Closing the Local Loop), which takes place Dec. 12-14, in San Francisco. Session highlights include:

  • A Deep Look at the New 'Super Social' Verticals
  • Facebook Next: Leveraging the Platform for Local
  • The New Local Social Video/TV
  • Converting Calls to Local Sales
  • The Next Wave of Deals
  • SuperForum: Social/Local/Mobile (SoLoMo)

About Local Commerce Monitor

Local Commerce Monitor (LCM) is BIA/Kelsey's ongoing tracking survey of small and medium-sized businesses conducted online with research partner ConStat since 1999. The survey measures where SMBs are spending their advertising and promotional budgets and how their media usage and spending habits are evolving. Local Commerce Monitor draws its sample of business respondents from a mix of nationally scoped MSAs, which include first- and second-tier markets. Local Commerce Monitor Wave XV was conducted in November 2011 via an online survey of 300 SMBs. The findings released today are based on preliminary analysis of the new data. Final analysis may result in slight modification of the reported findings.

About BIA/Kelsey

BIA/Kelsey advises companies in the local media space through consulting and valuation services, research, Continuous Advisory Services and conferences. Since 1983, BIA/Kelsey has been a resource to the media, mobile advertising, telecommunications, Yellow Pages and electronic directory markets, as well as to government agencies, law firms and investment companies looking to understand trends and revenue drivers. BIA/Kelsey's annual conferences draw executives from across industries seeking expert guidance on how companies are finding innovative ways to grow. Additional information is available at, on the company's Local Media Watch blog, Twitter ( and Facebook (