smallbusiness.co.uk: Helping your business think big

Email a Friend

Small businesses neglecting marketing, finds research
Too many businesses are not focusing enough on marketing

The SME sector is losing out on up to £122 billion in sales by allowing marketing to slip off the radar, according to a study. 

Improved marketing could create £43 billion in value added for small and medium-sized companies, according to findings by technology services company Pitney Bowes.

The company finds that the average SME is only achieving 39 per cent of its planned marketing activity, but when business owners were asked to predict the sales impact produced by increased marketing activity, results showed a growth of 9.2 per cent compared to previous years.

The research, carried out with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), demonstrates a disparity between planned marketing activity and the reality of what takes place. 

Three-quarters (77 per cent) of companies recognise that marketing is important to the success of their business, but a third rate their efforts over the last six months at under five out of ten, with 11 per cent admitting to doing none of the marketing they had planned.

Ryan Higginson of Pitney Bowes says, 'There is a great opportunity for savvy SMEs to grab a slice of the £122 billion but to do so they must look for ways to embrace every sales opportunity and maximise profit.'

When asked what’s holding them back, SME owners cite time (21 per cent) and money (36 per cent) – the acknowledged challenges for SMEs. 

Prioritisation is also a clear issue as the average owner juggles seven different roles on a daily basis and admits that buying stationery (35 per cent) is ahead of marketing (32 per cent). 

More established SMEs of 25 years plus are closest to achieving planned levels of marketing, with just under a third (31 per cent) claiming to have achieved their marketing plan.

Entrepreneur Jo Behari says, 'This research clearly shows that when marketing drops off the radar, it costs businesses significant revenue. A small business owner always has to be mindful of the bottom line and while it’s rare to carry out a marketing plan to the letter, with just 39 per cent getting done there is room for improvement. 

'Putting that extra effort in really will make all the difference to the profitability of your business, or even its survival.'

See also: Businesses to receive free research advice

Related topics: Marketing business

Previous article

Small businesses want to see late payers named and shamed 

Next article

Budget 2013: the reaction

Post a comment

Related

News | Management

Government pledges to buy research from small high-tech firms

News | Outlook

Small businesses urged to innovate now

News | Outlook

Capital advice for small businesses

News | Opportunities

Taxman is after small businesses

Small Business Offers

  • Making a connection

    A free small business guide to communication technology, brought to you by Vonage and SmallBusiness.co.uk.

  • Want to process payments on your website?

    Accept credit cards online via our secure, stable and easy gateway. Sign up now for summer savings – no setup fee, no monthly fees until September.

  • The smarter way to get cash flowing

    Running a business can be challenging so it’s important to ensure that you choose a funding solution that keeps you firmly in control while providing the flexibility to grow.

More from Small Business

Starting a Business
From prophet to profit: How entrepreneurs see into the future 

From prophet to profit: How entrepreneurs see into the future 

There may be no guidebook to being a visionary but here, Christian Nellemann explores the...  

Financing a Business
Why HMRC checks are manageable for your small business

Why HMRC checks are manageable for your small business

Neil Tipping explains the process of HMRC Business Records Checks and what demands are made...  

Running a Business
Advice for those considering buying a B&B

Advice for those considering buying a B&B

Here, Gareth Smyth looks at the key things to weigh up before purchasing a bed...  

Blog
Public source data and Scottish independence

Public source data and Scottish independence

The uncertainty surrounding Scottish independence leaves a question mark hanging over the future of public...