Small businesses have been pulling back the amount they spend on advertising since 2005, while digital promotions have steadily gained traction, according to Pivotal Research Group. Free and low-cost options, such as e-mails, paid bloggers and daily-deal services, are growing because they provide a greater value for those with smaller budgets, observers say. Facebook and Google represent the most likely digital place these businesses will increase their spend, said Pivotal analyst Brian Wieser.

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