We’ve released the 1st Edition of the United Kingdom Local Pulse Report™, highlighting key small and medium-sized enterprise marketing trends. The study reveals that 25% of SMEs have or plan to increase their marketing budgets over the next 12 months. Most businesses are increasing investments in paid search (43%), online video advertising (42%) and social media (30%), as they feel these channels are more strategic sources of leads. Much of this growth is driven by younger businesses that are in full growth mode and they typically have more digitally savvy owners.
Digital media continues to be SMEs’ main focus when it comes to marketing, especially with newer businesses. As SMEs view digital advertising as a more strategic source of leads and essential for keeping up with competition, more money is being invested across a growing number of media channels.
Social Media is a critical marketing component but challenges persist
While only 58 percent of the survey respondents have a professional website, 71 percent use social media including Facebook (59 percent), Twitter (32 percent) and LinkedIn (20 percent) to market their business. SMEs expect social media to generate leads (61 percent) build awareness (55 percent) and engage their customers (52 percent).
Many SMEs consider social media a standard component of their marketing mix but over half (51%) of SMEs report that their biggest challenge with social media is the lack of time to manage social channels properly.
When asked what areas they need the most help, social media was the highest at 29 percent.
Thrive Analytics’ 2017 UK Local Pulse Report™ is a comprehensive study covering SME marketing tools like social media, ratings and reviews, mobile payments and mobile marketing. The report also focuses on marketing budgets, technology adoption, challenges & opportunities for marketing service providers, satisfaction levels with products and more.
Other critical study findings from the 2017 UK Local Pulse Report™ include:
1. SMEs will allocate on average 11 percent of their total expenses to marketing related activities.
2. 42 percent of businesses expect their sales to increase over the next 12 months.
3. SMEs biggest hindrances to growth include lack of funding (34 percent), lack of resources (28 percent), and not investing enough in marketing (26 percent).
Below is a link to the infographic with more details