SMEs' lack of marketing costs £122 billion

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are losing out on up to £122 billion in sales revenue by failing to keep on top of their marketing, new research has claimed.

The research, carried out in association with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), found that despite 87 per cent of SMEs acknowledging the positive impact that marketing has on sales, many are letting it ‘slip off the radar.'

While three quarters see marketing as important to business success, a third admits to rating their efforts over the last six months at less than five out of 10. A further 11 per cent admit to doing none of the marketing they had planned.

Time (21 per cent) and money (36 per cent) were cited as the biggest barriers for SMEs achieving adequate marketing activity.

According to the research, the average business owner juggles seven different roles on a daily basis but puts buying stationery ahead of marketing. As expected, established SMEs are more likely to achieve their planned levels of marketing compared to younger SMEs.

Ryan Higginson, vice president digital channel Europe at 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."

Embracing digital marketing, such as social media, is an easy-to-use and low-cost way of achieving this, he added.

Entrepreneur, Jo Behari, said: "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."

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