Engaging Customers a Priority for 2010

Small-business owners are hoping to engage customers in new ways in 2010, according to Ad-ology Research.

Ad-ology said 28 percent of small-business owners say they plan to spend more on online video in 2010, up 75 percent over last year's plans. Twenty-five percent say the same about social networking, while 21 percent plan to commit more resources to mobile advertising, according to a release.

The research said Facebook was ranked the most beneficial social network for small business, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter. These owners say the top business benefits of social networking are lead generation, keeping up with the industry and monitoring the online conversation about their business.

"Small-business owners understand that the marketing landscape is changing, and they need to connect with consumers in new ways," said C. Lee Smith, president and CEO of Ad-ology Research. "They're still using traditional media, but they're embracing these emerging media types as a way to take their business to the next level."

Twenty-nine percent plan increased advertising spending overall, targeting increased resources to online, direct-mail and newspaper advertising, according to the release.

The Ad-ology Small Business Marketing Forecast reveals small-business owners are generally hopeful, with more predicting increased sales in 2010 vs. 2009, and one in five expressing optimism about the economy.