More than half of SMEs lack marketing expertise
A shocking proportion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) feel that they are falling behind when it comes to marketing strategies – a fact compounded by their lack of understanding on the matter.
In a recent survey by ReachLocal, a massive 45% of the small businesses questioned said that their current marketing activity was not sufficient.
An additional 10% felt they need to actively do more self-promotion while 54% were unaware of the benefits or returns which the tactics they were using were actually providing.
Shockingly, a considerable 23% admitted to pumping money into marketing strategies that they felt were working despite the fact that they had little or no evidence to support this belief.
Putting money where your mouth is
The survey also offered insight into SMEs’ spending habits with Search Engine Advertising and Search Engine Optimisation (SEA and SEO) accounting for nearly 50% of the total spend.
Despite the popularity of these methods, there are other marketing strategies that should be considered by smaller businesses.
According to a separate study – Harvard Business Review – 50% of customers decide which businesses to give their custom based on who gets back to them first.
Despite this data, only 31-35% of businesses make it a priority to respond to website queries within one hour which means they could be missing out on vital customers.
By failing to acknowledge some of the main lessons from the world of marketing, SMEs could therefore be putting themselves at great risk; not just of losing business but of losing money.
Marketing strategies are an incredibly important part of growth and development for a firm of any size but simply investing money into marketing is not enough. Companies need to be aware of what strategies are right for them and make the most financial sense in order to achieve strong results.
Failure to do so could seriously undermine the financial security of businesses and even prompt them to undergo business rescue if spending gets completely out of control.
Gaining a deeper understanding of marketing and their use of it will help SMEs to plan their ad spending more effectively and ensure that strong ROI is achieved from any marketing investment; thus helping them to remain profitable, productive and present in the public sphere.
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