Sink or Swim? How SMBs Can Overcome Digital Marketing Challenges

While digital marketing can provide targeted access to buyers at budgets within reach of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), potentially leveling the playing field, it can also result in quickly escalating costs with little to no results. In the United States, 33.2 million small businesses account for 99.9% of all U.S. businesses, yet volatility is astronomical. In the year following March 2019, 1 million small businesses started, and 993,809 closed, leaving a net gain of only 42,650. Despite access to relatively affordable digital marketing strategies, many owners lack the knowledge and skills to employ them effectively. With one of the few 100% independent U.S. digital marketing agencies, Derek Chew, CEO of Fullmoon Digital, helps SMB owners target their most effective channels for rapid growth.

Derek says, “My clients have outstanding products and services, but many were jumping from one digital platform to another, hoping for a big win but failing to gain traction. It’s easy to do; owners receive regular promotions from various platforms with offers and promises. The truth is every platform is a winner, but not for every business. My team helps SMB owners set realistic expectations and target the channels that will generate sales for them.”

In a 2021 poll, small businesses reported spending an average of $534 a month on digital advertising, with the total marketing and advertising budget ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 a year.

For some businesses, this spending falls short of what it takes to gain visibility and market share. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) suggests allocating at least 7% to 8% of gross revenues to marketing, with 50% of that budget directed toward digital marketing. However, successful business-to-consumer (B2C) companies spend between 14% and 17% of their gross revenue on marketing, while business-to-business (B2B) companies spend between 8% and 12%.  A business with $1 million annual gross revenue would expect to spend $80,000 to $170,000 on marketing, with half of that allocated to digital marketing.

More than dollars spent, businesses that track marketing return on investment (ROI) outperform those that don’t. A study from the Content Marketing Institute shows that 72% of the most prosperous companies compute their marketing ROI compared to only 22% of the least successful companies.

“Good agencies can help SMBs prioritize the best bang for their buck by carefully tracking a number of metrics, including ROI,” reports Derek Chew. “Building and sustaining successful digital marketing campaigns is a journey that requires hard work and consistent collaboration.”

The biggest challenge most new SMB clients face when they start working with Fullmoon Digital Marketing is wanting more marketing than they can afford. Often, the first part of the client-focused campaign development process is to align expectations and establish a realistic framework of spending and growth. This forms a foundation for win-win success, paving the way to meet the unique digital marketing needs of each SMB.


Fullmoon Digital, founded by Derek Chew, a former early Yahoo! employee, is one of the few 100% independent digital marketing agencies in the United States. The firm is cross-functional, with deep experience in media planning and buying, digital consultancy, SEO, digital strategy, programmatic, analytics, performance marketing, paid media, social advertising, and creative. They push the envelope of what is possible in terms of marketing and technology, all the while providing best-in-class digital marketing service to their “pack” of clients. For more information, please visit