New Study Shows Entrepreneur Expectations Of Digital Vendors

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In a study of Russian entrepreneurs conducted by digital service connectors/vendor pitching company,, they found that 40% of entrepreneurs do not plan to cut budgets for contextual advertising, and 25% don’t plan to cut marketing budgets for SEO.

The study questions asked respondents about changes in both priorities, budgets, and budget allocation for marketing and advertising services.

Katerina Logvinova, a representative of WorkSpace has said:

Answering some questions, respondents had the opportunity to leave detailed comments. Processing them, we came to the conclusion that, on the whole, representatives of small and medium-sized businesses are guided by the absence of further restrictive measures and are rather optimistic. At the same time, we revealed a rapid evolution in their approach to promotion – the number of reflexive and comfortable solutions decreased, and meaningfulness when choosing a promotion strategy significantly increased.

Key points from the study’s findings are that…

In times of crisis, for most customers (57.1%) when choosing digital contractors, the most important criterion was the availability of case studies relevant to the work and services they required. Previously, most customers felt that word of mouth (ergo reputation) was a convincing factor.

The weighting of factors when selecting vendors

Breaking down the chart above:

  • Readiness and detail of relevant case studies – 57.1%
  • Personal recommendations/word of mouth – 44.3%
  • Cost of services – 41.4%
  • Bespokeness of a tailored approach to problems – 27.1%
  • Online reviews of the vendor – 24.3%
  • Vendor service/product range and scalability (e.g. full-service v specialist) – 24.3%
  • Vendor standing (reputation, awards) – 21.4%
  • Availability of discounts for long term relationships – 15.7%
  • Willingness to make concessions – 12.9%

In times of crisis…

More relevant than ever, as the Russian market is emerging from the first Corona pandemic, the study also asked Russian entrepreneurs what concessions they desired/expected from marketing and advertising vendors to accommodate new clients in “crisis times”.

The responses were that:

  • A reduction in the cost of marketing/advertising services – 67.6%
  • Free initial consultations – 39.7%
  • Favorable payment terms/payment delays – 36.8%
  • Quick start MVP projects – 33.8%

Budget Reductions?

However, about a third of representatives of small and medium-sized businesses do not plan to reduce budgets associated with digital marketing and advertising. This is especially true for companies from industries such as online training, food retail, and IT services.

A third of respondents from the medium and small businesses do not have their own website and many of them naturally do not plan to reduce costs for SMM.

On the other hand, entrepreneurs with their own websites and online stores are more willing to remove this expense item from their budget.

On another note, the top three new marketing strategies that entrepreneurs want to try out in the near future included content marketing/using content as a method of custom acquisition with 27% respondents opting for this.

Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor is an experienced SEO consultant and has worked with brands and companies on optimizing for Russia (and Yandex) for a number of years. Winner of the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost competition, webmaster at and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of