There’s plenty of money to be made by serving as an advertising platform for Main Street businesses, and no shortage of ideas for how to best tap into the market. Google and Microsoft’s Bing beefed up their neighborhood-specific business listings years ago. AOL bet big on Patch, its network of hyperlocal blogs. Investors chased companies such as Groupon that offer new models for capturing local ad dollars.
One obvious hiccup: Small companies typically have small advertising budgets. Less obvious: Small companies have proved reluctant to shift their limited resources from print to online. How reluctant? That’s the big question posed by a Boston Consulting Group survey (which was suggested and partially funded by Yelp) released today.