Many SMEs un­der­use mod­ern mar­ket­ing tools

The New Zealand Herald - - BUSINESS - Aimee Shaw­

Half of small- and medium-sized com­pa­nies are spend­ing less than $1000 a year on mar­ket­ing, a sur­vey has found.

Of 600 own­ers of com­pa­nies with 30 or fewer employees con­tacted by in­ter­net do­main provider Dot Kiwi in July, 19 per cent did not mar­ket their busi­ness at all.

A third of SMEs with a web­site said they re­ceived fewer than 50 on­line vis­i­tors each week and 25 per cent had no idea about their web traf­fic.

“Many busi­ness own­ers don’t ap- pre­ci­ate the value of a web­site vis­i­tor,” said An­gus Richard­son, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Dot Kiwi. “Once a vis­i­tor is at your web­site, you have the chance of con­vert­ing them to a cus­tomer ei­ther through e-com­merce, an on­line news­let­ter or a so­cial me­dia con­nec­tion.”

Firms should be track­ing web­site vis­i­tors, at the very least, to gauge the ef­fec­tive­ness of sales and mar­ket­ing.

The sur­vey found 60 per cent of SMEs could not take pay­ment on their web­site. Richard­son said that did not mean they could not con­vert vis­i­tors to news­let­ter sub­scribers.

Richard Ne­un­z­er­ling, founder and di­rec­tor of Right Hand Man, a mar­ket­ing agency de­signed for small busi­nesses, said an av­er­age mar­ket­ing ex­pen­di­ture of $1000 or less was in line with what his busi­ness ex­pe­ri­enced with clients.

“Some busi­nesses, even if they’re a larger type, haven’t had the needs to ad­ver­tise in the past, and they’ve re­lied on word of mouth or on their net­works, but through the evo­lu­tion of the in­ter­net and the emerg­ing of new busi­nesses, they are hav­ing to re­think that now,” Ne­un­z­er­ling said.

De­spite many spend­ing lit­tle on mar­ket­ing, Ne­un­z­er­ling said a web­site was an­other means to do so.

Many busi­ness own­ers don’t ap­pre­ci­ate the value of a web­site vis­i­tor. An­gus Richard­son

“A web­site is ad­ver­tis­ing; it’s your busi­ness out to the mar­ket, on the in­ter­net,” he said.

“The prob­lem is that many have weak con­tent and they re­alise that they’re not get­ting busi­ness through it, and then re­alise there’s other op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

How­ever, the sur­vey found that nearly half of SMEs spent less than $600 a year on their web­site, and 64 per cent did not host videos.

The rise in so­cial me­dia for busi­ness pur­poses meant many felt they did not need to spend money on sep­a­rate mar­ket­ing, Ne­un­z­er­ling said.

“We get a lot of peo­ple that use a lot of so­cial me­dia and say ‘ we get a lot of likes’, but that’s not turn­ing into sales. You can spend $1000 on so­cial me­dia, and still sit back and say that didn’t work, and that’s be­cause the mes­sage wasn’t right, or it’s not set up cor­rectly.”

Blog­ging was an­other al­ter­na­tive to mar­ket­ing cam­paigns and strict ad­verts, Ne­un­z­er­ling said.

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