Ryan McAweeney says Digital Ad Spending Still Overlooked by Small and Medium Businesses in San Diego

SAN DIEGO, CA – 11 Nov, 2017 – While small and medium businesses (SMB) are planning to ramp up their spending on digital ads this year, entrepreneur and marketer Ryan McAweeney says entrepreneurs are still not paying close attention to their online marketing campaigns.

The survey from Borrell and Associates in 2016 revealed that SMBs are acknowledging the importance of online advertising as they shift their spending from the traditional to the digital platforms. Money is always an issue with small entrepreneurs, which is why they hesitate on spending what little they have on advertising.

McAweeney said more than 7 in 10 of survey respondents claimed that they will spend more to advertise on Facebook and other social media to promote a product or service. “One reason is their good experience with social media as the digital ad platform. In fact, 9 in 10 of those surveyed reported that their marketing campaign on Facebook was very effective,” he said.

The digital marketing ad spending in the US is expected to grow almost $120 million by 2021, which is about three times the $40 billion in 2014. “Of course, the intent is very different from what’s happening on the ground,” he said. “The awareness level is there but there’s a huge gap between knowing and doing, which keeps SMB from really focusing on their digital marketing campaigns.”

He said there’s a lot that San Diego has to offer, particularly for startups. In fact, he cited the “Innovation that Matters 2017” report from the US Chamber of Commerce which recognized the city as the fourth best place if you are a startup. The city has been consistently ranked high in the list. Last year, it sat at fifth place.

San Diego scored high in the following categories: financial resources, number of startups, talent pool, connectivity, industry specialization and regulatory environment. “People always think of successful startups as synonymous to Silicon Valley but San Diego is a rising digital hub because of its relatively cheaper office rent, connectivity and better standards of living compared to Silicon Valley,” he said.

“It’s almost criminal how technopreneurs are not paying enough attention to San Diego,” McAweeney said. “We digital influencers are also partly to blame because we are not using our own resources and skills to bring the word out.”

McAweeney said, “SMBs should be here and we have the digital infrastructure and the know-how to help them in their online marketing campaigns.”

He said SMB should be taking advantage of hyperlocal advertising especially in a relatively small community like San Diego. Aside from an aggressive social media campaign, making use of community newspapers and magazines, posters, billboards, bus stop ads and out-of-home advertising are just some of the few examples of marketing tools for small and medium businesses. “They don’t really have to spend that much in the hyperlocal ad, which makes it a good choice especially if money is an issue.”


Ryan McAweeney is one of the leaders in digital marketing and affiliate marketing industry in greater San Diego area. He founded the Vertical Direct Marketing Group in 2009, more than 15 years since he started his career in direct marketing in 1992. Among his clients are the NFL, Toyota, Wells Fargo Bank and DirectTV.

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