Senior Managers Spooked by Public Speaking; Enterprise Companies Looking to Boost Communication With SMBs

Hmmm. Perhaps the switch to the digital age isn’t happening as quickly we might think. Nearly a third (32%) of business professionals continue to rely on paper surveys or suggestion boxes to monitor customer satisfaction, according to a new study by ReviewInc and Woodbury University. The survey, which garnered 261 responses, found that roughly 35% of the respondents use electronic surveys to monitor customer satisfaction.

‘Storytelling’ Biggest Fear When Speaking in Public: With sincere apologies to Jerry Seinfeld, most people would rather be dead than tell a story in public, and business pros are no exception. But help could be on the way, from PR executives well versed in the art of public speaking.

More than 33% of business professionals said they wanted training for knowing how to tell a story in public while 44% said they needed training to help them “connect and engage with audiences,” according to a recent survey by BoldPoint Now, an online presentation training company.

The survey, which garnered responses from 117 individuals, found that 30% of the respondents needed help when it came to “having something meaningful to say.” If that isn’t an all-points bulletin for PR pros, we don’t know what is.

Here are some of the nuggets from the study, all of which to one degree or another play right into PR pros’ skillsets:

• Nearly half of the respondents said they needed help with storytelling and engaging audiences.

• A third (33%) of the respondents said they needed training help for fear of stage fright.

• About a quarter of the respondents said they “had no sense of design.”

• Nearly a third (31%) of the respondents said they didn’t “know how to use PowerPoint” or any “slideware,” or knew how to “use basic animation/transition tools.”

Source: BoldPoint Now

Big Business Struggles to Understand SMB Market: Two out of three big business brands are planning to increase their focus and investment in engaging small to medium-sized business (SMB) customers during the next 12 to 36 months, according to a new study from the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and B2B media company Penton.

“Business Traction From Smarter SMB Interaction: Advancing Enterprise Excellence in SMB Marketing,” took the pulse of more than 160 senior marketing executives selling to small businesses.

According to the study, 70% of marketers believe that the SMB market is extremely important to their business, while 38% of respondents said they will aggressively boost their marketing investments in the SMB space.

Here’s a few of the key findings, which could serve as a bit of a roadmap for PR pros tasked with creating strategies on how to reach SMBs:

• Just 5% of marketers believe that the SMB market has a very positive view of big business, even as one in four brands believes it has well established and trusted brand recognition. Nearly half believe they have a good rapport and growing relationship with their customers.

• Half of the respondents have dedicated customer experience resources specifically for the SMB market, yet only 40% said they have a specialized department or team targeting this market.

• Just 6% of marketers believe they are extremely effective at developing compelling messages and executing measurable campaigns for the SMB market. PRN

Sources: Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, Penton

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 17, 2014 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.