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Retail Small Businesses See Better ROI With TV Than Digital Ads

by | Mar 8, 2018 | BIA, Blog, Broadcast, SAM, SMBs


Free and low-cost digital and social media channels are most popular in use among retail small businesses, but they give higher return on investment (ROI) marks to traditional media channels such as TV and cable, according to data from Wave 21 of our Local Commerce Monitor™ survey of small businesses (Q3/2017). Over half of the retail small businesses in the LCM survey said TV and cable both had excellent (10-19x) or extraordinary (20x plus) ROIs.

Around 33% of their ad spend goes to traditional media channels. For the lower spending core* SMBs newspapers, giveaways and community sponsorships account for the largest portions of their traditional ad spend. While for higher spending Plus Spender* SMBs direct mail, newspapers and giveaways are tops.

The retailers in the LCM survey lean toward self-management and lower cost advertising. Traditional media can create a new sales strategy by offering retails SMBs a direct way to advertise. The addition of marketing automation services for more spend could help solidify their commitment.

For more on retail small businesses and their advertising and marketing, BIA/Kelsey has a new report “Advertising & Marketing Priorities of Retail Small Businesses” available for purchase in our estore.

*Core SMBs have an annual spend of less than $25,000. Plus Spenders have an annual spend of at least $25,000.


BIA/Kelsey’s LCM, Wave 21 reports can be purchased a la carte in the BIA/Kelsey eStore. Subscribers of BIA ADVantage can view the research from the online dashboard found here.