Many SMEs underuse modern marketing tools
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.