SMBs plan to expand their usage of cloud, social and mobile technologies in 2013, with impacts on their hiring and marketing activities that should be of interest to MSPs. PaySimple, a provider of cloud-based management systems for SMBs, has revealed some interesting findings from a recent survey of its users.
Ninety percent of SMBs have company websites, showing that SMBs have now fully embraced the digital revolution. And they are not standing pat on simply running a website. Fifty-three percent plan to run more functions via mobile device and 50 percent plan to deploy more cloud-based technologies.
In addition, 51 percent of SMBs plan to use Facebook and 18 percent LinkedIn for marketing, while almost four in 10 (37 percent) engage in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) activities. No doubt at least partially enabled to keep headcount down by the use of emerging technologies to automate marketing and other activities, only 33 percent of small businesses plan to hire new full-time employees in 2013.
The Numbers Add Up for MSPsThere is a lot for MSPs serving the SMB market to like about these numbers. The 90 percent company website statistic means that virtually all SMBs need some help in maintaining a professional website that offers a compelling and useful customer experience, which is far different than simply registering a URL and developing a site using basic code.
Like creating a corporate-grade website, developing corporate-grade mobile functionality is also a complex matter requiring highly specialized skills that most SMBs do not possess in-house. Mobility is becoming increasingly important as mobile devices are becoming the preferred means of Internet access for not only consumers, but for employees as well. SMBs must make sure that all important online functionality is optimized for mobile users inside and outside the organization, and almost certainly will need help in doing so.
And social media marketing, along with SEO and SEM, is another highly developed and specialized discipline which is increasingly important to businesses of all sizes. As with mobile, social is becoming primary means of online access, and SMBs must meet their customers in the social world with properly designed and optimized experiences – experiences they will be happy to pay qualified MSPs to help design, implement and manage. Of course cloud services by their nature and hosted, and MSPs can offer personalized customer service and scale of operations many of their larger competitors cannot.
Finally, even though SMBs are taking advantage of emerging technologies to avoid making new hires, there is still a need for extra human resources to select, design, implement, operate and maintain social, cloud and mobile systems. MSPs can fill that crucial human resource gap without incurring the costs of taking on new employees.