There’s no doubt that, thanks to data, today’s small businesses and startups are enjoying greater and greater advantages — with barriers to market-entry lower than they have been in over a hundred years.  The unprecedented amount and quality of data available today affords small businesses greater insight into their customers’ needs than ever before — enabling them to provide the most relevant products and services.

Small Business Saturday, (held each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving) is a program created by the Small Business Administration to encourage consumers to support their local small businesses.  This year, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, consumers spent $5.5 billion at independent retailers on Small Business Saturday this year.

In the wake this impressive success, a study commissioned by the DMA’s Data-Driven Marketing Institute (DDMI) found that small businesses and innovation are the biggest winners in the Data-Driven Marketing Economy (DDME).  “The Value of Data: Consequences for Insight, Innovation, and Efficiency in the U.S. Economy” shows that the exchange of data across the Data-Driven Marketing Economy enables small businesses to compete effectively with big players, launching innovative publications and services fueled by advertising revenue.

With all of these incredible benefits that data brings to small businesses, it’s important to remember that well-meaning, yet poorly conceived legislation restricting the responsible use of data could stifle innovation and make small businesses less competitive.

In fact, the biggest winners in the DDME – innovation and small businesses – would also be the biggest losers if startups could no longer use data to overcome barriers to entry, raise ad-supported revenue, and identify new and niche markets to serve.  In the end, it would hurt consumers by limiting choices and raising prices.

The entire economy – from the biggest brands to the smallest startups – are benefitting from the data revolution.  It’s our job to be vigilant and to make sure that all businesses – small and large – remain winners. 

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