Attitudes to online marketing amongst SMEs in BritainResearch undertaken at The Business Show reveals some interesting attitudes to online marketing amongst SMEs.

As in all walks of life, trends come and go in online marketing. More of a certainty is that the web will always be around and individuals and businesses will not stop using it to research new products and services. Regardless of size or sector, all small business should be looking to tap in to that pool of potential clients and customers in order to grow their businesses.

Being an exhibitor and seminar host at The Business Show held at London’s ExCel gave us the perfect opportunity to explore this subject and to investigate whether SMEs feel their website is working hard enough for them, and if not, what they’re doing about it.

Please click on the infographic thumbnail to view a summary of the findings from the research.

Research findings:

  • Eight out of ten (79%) small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) say their website is critical or very important to their business
  • Only 28% are happy with their company’s Google rankings
  • Only four in ten (43%) of these SMEs are actively investing in marketing their website to improve their web presence
  • Of those businesses who do invest in digital marketing, just over half (69%) undertake this solely in-house, and a third (31%) have some levels of agency support.
  • Those businesses that seek external expertise are more satisfied with their online presence and visibility than those who undertake all the work in house.

SME owners and managers were most familiar with the following online marketing disciplines:

  • social media marketing
  • email marketing
  • SEO

and least familiar with:

  • content marketing
  • affiliate marketing
  • inbound marketing

The outlook

Google specifically says that the web is a level playing field and that it doesn’t favour big brands over lesser known entities. This digital hot potato is frequently discussed in industry forums and, whatever your opinion, real people are out there doing real searches looking for companies like you – and it’s a very brave (or blinkered) small business that chooses not to engage.

As someone once said, “You’ve got to be in it to win it” but the survey results show that many small business wrongly believe that they are ‘in it’ by simply creating their website.

Digital marketing goes far beyond this and if they want people and search engines to take note, it’s what they do with this website and their broader online presence, that counts.

You are welcome to re-publish the infographic  but we would be grateful if you could credit the source. Please contact us if you would prefer the research findings in press release format.

  • Gwydion

    Hiya – good article. Certainly
    our web site has improved since we took external advice and support. However, I’m not sure we are mature enough in
    ourselves to make best use of that external resource – what questions should we
    ask? What can we expect? Of course these things should be addressed by
    your supplier but there are an awful lot of ‘experts’ out there preying on
    SMEs.

    • Joe_Friedlein

      Thanks for your thoughts / comments.

      You are right that not all suppliers are equal and the snake oil salesmen will prey on SMEs unfortunately. The key to a successful working relationship is to have a clear brief about roles & responsibilities as well as expectations in terms of results and activity. A good supplier will help you create that brief if you don’t already have one by asking you a lot of questions and challenging your beliefs.

      A good adage that I cling on to from my web build days is ‘shit in, shit out’ (please excuse the French!). If you don’t have a clear brief for your supplier, it is almost inevitable that things will go wrong at some point. By working with a potential supplier to define the brief, you should be able to get a good feel for the way in which they work and answer the absolutely crucial question – do you trust them?

      Thanks again,
      Joe