What These Latest Numbers Mean to Your Small Business (or Startup)


In one of my last articles, (which I still cannot believe I managed to work in a singing wall trout), I was discussing some very generic ways your business could succeed with digital.  As promised, I want to get more specific because now when you walk by that disturbing ’80’s nostalgia known as the “singing trout” he will belt out “your simply the best…” and you will never again get that image out of your head.

First, let’s lay down some numbers that will amaze even those who hate numbers.  For the past 20 years there has been a report produced called The Internet Report.  Each year it gets more interesting and this year is no different.  Small businesses and startups pull up a chair, grab an IPA and listen close because this is for you.

As of 2014 there were 2.8 billion internet users and that number continues to grow.  It has slowed down in terms of the rate of growth but the volume is not slowing any.  Additionally, there were 5.2 billion mobile phone users in 2014.  40 percent of these 5.2 billion have smartphones which they use daily to search the web (and buy) with.

Now here’s something interesting.  The time spent per adult user per day with digital media has gone from 2.7 hours in 2008 to 5.6 hours in 2015. That’s a hefty jump and it’s not decreasing.  A lot of time is spent using mobile devices but desktops and laptops are still right up there as primary; and in many cases people have all three.

Ten years from now, when we look back we will be shocked at how truly uninformed we used to be when we made decisions.

The Internet Report had a ton of other juicy numbers but at one point you have to step back and see the bigger picture.  This is about data.  What is happening at this very moment, is that we are using digital and the Internet to make decisions about who to do business with, how to find that business, contact them, and once we get there, make a quick judgment call whether to stay interested or leave.

This isn’t just for those businesses that sell online.  It’s all businesses.  It’s the small ones, the tiny ones, the medium ones and even the big, well known ones.

In order to stay afloat in the Internet economy (yes, even right here in Central Oregon) you need insights.  You need to be informed better about the money you spend on marketing.  You need to understand the online behaviors of potential and current customers.  You need to know that you are probably leaving a lot of money on the table each day by not having a deeper understanding of the acquisition, behaviors and outcomes of your digital world.

Entrepreneur magazine had a much more bold statement recently, “Your business has two options: adapt or die.”  They were talking about the fact that businesses are not able to keep up with all of the changes in digital and Internet but it’s critical that they adapt and understand the changing consumer needs and behaviors.

So, what can you do?  Don’t get sucked into the idea of simply looking at default reports regarding your website, digital marketing, social media, etc.  Begin with your business goals and then work toward digging deep into the data (slicing and dicing) to find out who, what, why and where your goals are being accomplished or not accomplished.  This is gold.  It’s not “likes” or “fans,” it’s the result those likes turning into something valuable. Do analysis and not reporting.  You’ll be simply amazed at the difference it makes for your small business.


If you would like to comment on this article, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this entire topic.  I have a post about this and you can feel free to share your thoughts: https://www.rewiredigital.com/welcome-rise-demand-company.



About Author

Shane Ketterman is the owner of Rewire Digital. A digital agency for small/medium businesses and startups that don’t have time to deal with online data but want to improve and increase demand for their products and services.

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