The price deficit of marketing

As studies show that marketing ignorance is costing British businesses dear, Tony Crutcher looks at how to stretch spend and make sure any outlay reaps greater dividends.

The lack of understanding in marketing is costing Britain’s SMEs more than £25,000 PA according to two new studies.

Research by Wolters Kluwer has found the majority of Britain’s 4.8 million business owners are confused about marketing, and in particular internet marketing.

And this confusion comes at a huge cost, with an estimated shortfall of £25,417 per business.

Research also found that SME owners were prone to a ‘lone wolf’ approach to decision-making, with the vast majority more likely to trust their own instincts than seek qualified guidance from an expert.

A second survey, carried out in association with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), found that UK businesses are losing out on £122 billion of sales because of poor marketing.

Specialist marketer to the construction sector Tony Crutcher believes that the cost to fenestration/ builder’s merchants could be far higher than £25,000. “More money is wasted on marketing than in any other part of small and medium sized businesses,” he said.

“You only need to have a look at a typical builder’s merchant/ fenestration and roofing firm’s website. A typical website for a small business might cost £1,000 to £4,000 and yet most produce few leads. One of the myths about internet marketing is that having a better looking website will create more leads. It is simply not true,” he added.

Tony believes there are two key factors affecting online success – traffic and conversion.

“The average conversion rate on the internet is one per cent and that means that 99 per cent of the people that come to small business websites leave without making a sale.

“This is costing SMEs a small fortune in lost sales and income.”

He added that SMEs must therefore become more prudent with their marketing in these leaner times.

His prudent marketing tips include:

· Embrace social media, CMS websites and build quality content from your own PR.

· Use each quality PR article on multiple channels to maximise exposure.

· Measure your sales and marketing but don’t be obsessed by it.

· Never be satisfied with the results you are getting, keep pushing forward.

· Learn and embrace new technology and work with contractors who understand it.

· Take marketing seriously as it is the key to your success.

· Consider yourself a marketing company and as such you need to be better at sales and marketing than your competitors.

Tony Crutcher Ltd is a specialist marketing, services provider to the construction industry.