Understand what makes small-business marketers tick with BIA/Kelsey’s proprietary annual survey, LCM.

Local Commerce Monitor™ (LCM) is BIA/Kelsey’s proprietary annual survey of small and medium business marketers. The survey tracks SMB advertising and marketing spending, web footprint, media performance assessments, and opinions about key topics like emerging media and sales channels. For this study, “SMB” is defined as a business having from 1 to 100 employees.

Current Survey: LCM Wave 20, conducted in late summer 2016 via an online survey of 1,000 SMBs. LCM Wave 20 offers unique insights and objective data that can be used to develop customer engagement strategies, product offerings and sales materials.

LCM Logo 2015 FINAL-01
What LCM Tracks

LCM covers 50+ different media and platforms used by small businesses for marketing and promotion. The survey is updated annually.

Top-level media segments covered include:

  • Social Media
  • Digital Search and Display
  • Mobile
  • Email marketing & CRM
  • Loyalty Programs & Transactions
  • Video
  • TV & Cable
  • Radio and Streaming audio
  • Print and Digital Directories
  • Direct Mail
  • Newspapers & Magazines
  • Deals & Coupons
  • Giveaway Items
  • Community Sponsorships
Who It's For
  • Product  & Marketing  Managers
  • PR and Communications Managers
  • CMOs
  • Businesses Development Directors
  • Sales Managers
  • Sales Training Directors
  • Anyone building a business among SMBs
How It's Used
  • Product Road maps and new product feature developments
  • Sales training programs and tools
  • Sales training programs and tools
  • Market sizing and marketing opportunity strategies
  • Supports PR initiatives
  • Market planning and selling strategies
  • New market or product entry strategies
  • Industry marketing and sales tools
Highlights LCM Wave 20

The newest wave of LCM is Wave 20, completed Q3 2016.

The survey is diversified across categories, market types and age cohorts, and features numerous verticals to offer more granular findings. Topics covered include: cloud services and automated marketing, tactical sales information (best days and day parts to make sales calls) and reasons for preferring DIY model.


  • SMBs rate social media monitoring highest as the marketing tool they plan to begin using in next 12 months, followed by customer ad analytics and business software. Learn additional SMB media priorities for the next 12 months in the full report. 
  • A Facebook page, direct mail, and a website were the top used media for advertising and promotion. Perceived ROI by media channel is in the full report.
  • The average annual spend by the higher spending SMBs, known as Plus Spenders, has remained fairly consistent over the past three waves. Learn which media Plus Spenders are considering now.
  • New tools have made DIY easier. Broadly speaking, SMBs show a strong independent streak with 48.2% purchase online ads themselves (DIY). Leearn what makes a DIY tool valuable to SMBs.
  • In the full report, learn when sales staff should call and what is expected of them.

Available Reports

Small Businesses Marketing & Advertising Trends – LCM Wave 20 Full Report

Planning and Budgeting for 2017: Guidance from BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor™ (LCM) Study (Attendees of BIA/Kelsey NEXT will receive this custom report.)

LCM Wave 20 Reports
View All SMB Reports

Download Extract

Submit the form below to download an extract from the LCM Wave 19 Core Spenders report. (Core spenders spend less than $25K per year on advertising and marketing.)

Infographics (Click to expand)

BIA/Kelsey conducts the Local Commerce Monitor annually, online, with research partners. For the study, a small business is defined as a business having from 1 to 100 employees. LCM draws its sample of business respondents from a mix of nationally scoped MSAs, primarily based on first- and second-tier markets. Findings are weighted to reflect the incidence of small businesses by size bracket, according to size bracket data provided by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

Core Spenders

Small businesses that
spend less than $25,000 annually
on marketing and promotion.

Plus Spenders

Small businesses that
spend a minimum of $25,000 annually
on marketing and promotion.