California’s Newer Small Businesses Leverage Social Media to Expand Globally

VerticalResponse, Inc. surveys hundreds of California small businesses to compare startups and established companies in social media adoption, online marketing, and roadblocks to success

CEO talks of survey results at Governor’s Conference on Small Business

LOS ANGELES, CA – November 19, 2008VerticalResponse, Inc., the leading provider of on-demand email marketing and direct mail solutions, today releases the results of a survey comparing how startups fare in adoption of social media and online marketing practices, versus their more established counterparts. CEO Janine Popick will announce highlights of the survey results during her panel presentation on the role of California’s small businesses in the global economy, at the inaugural Governor’s Conference on Small Business. The conference supports California's small businesses in their contribution to the health and power of the state's economy; Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger hosts at the Renaissance Montura Hotel in Los Angeles today.

Among key findings, VerticalResponse reports*:

  • 85% of startups use social media tools (including blogs, social networks, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more) compared to 75% of established businesses, startups feel that social media is working for them more than more established players.
  • Though more established businesses have expanded globally (56% vs. 31% of startups), 82% of startups with overseas customers said “it just happened,” vs. 55% of established businesses who put a concerted effort toward global expansion.
  • More than 50% of startups ranked lack of time or budget as the key roadblocks to online marketing, while less than 5% ranked either lack of technical skills or knowledge of the tools
  • For  established businesses, lack of time also led with a full half of respondents, but more than a quarter (28%) cited lack of technical skills or knowledge of what’s available as their leading road blocks

VerticalResponse used its own survey tool, launched in April, to deliver multiple choice and free-form answers to a subset of its users, and focused its queries around topics often linked to the Golden State: new and emerging media and global presence. The survey questions were left open-ended to learn what else small businesses consider as top issues related to their success and growth. Respondents were divided based on the length of time they’ve been in business; startups (from one to three years), and established businesses (around for more than 10).

“As we’re nearing the end of VerticalResponse’s first decade, I’ve realized how much a company grows and changes through various life stages, and also what a different business climate we find ourselves in today versus when we launched,” said Popick. “The tools available now allow so many channels of communication among businesses, and between businesses and their customers, it’s really changed the game and made so many businesses more global. It’s exciting to see where people stand on these issues.”

The VerticalResponse Survey tool is a free feature of the company’s core offering, and can be easily synced into any email marketing campaign. The tool includes close to 20 ready-to-use survey templates, an html editor for more advanced designers, and is already plugged into customers’ VerticalResponse dashboards. Survey invitations, email alerts and results can be tracked simply in an automatic, familiar interface. The results of this survey can be compared and analyzed across various metrics.

*For complete survey results, contact Martha@atomicpr.com or call 415.402.0230.

To find out more, please visit: www.verticalresponse.com.

About VerticalResponse

VerticalResponse, Inc. is a leading provider of self-service email marketing and direct mail services empowering businesses of all sizes to create, manage and analyze their own direct marketing campaigns. VerticalResponse’s flagship product, which allows customers to deliver sophisticated yet easily deployed email campaigns, is the most intuitive and affordable Web-based direct marketing solution available. VerticalResponse is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For additional information, please visit www.verticalresponse.com.

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