UK consumers search online for SMEs

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UK consumers search online for SMEs

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) don't typically have large marketing budgets, and aside from word-of-mouth, they see the most return from digital efforts. According to a recent study published by Circle Research for Latitude and Bing, digital methods of discovery are far more common among UK consumers looking for SMEs than traditional methods like flyers and magazine ads.

After word-of-mouth, which proves successful for 75 per cent of SMEs, search engines are the most popular way for UK consumers to discover such companies. 62 per cent of respondents stated their customers discovered them this way.

Social media, while less successful at 37 per cent, was still well ahead of traditional methods. Magazines proved beneficial to just 21 per cent of respondents, fliers to 18 per cent, and telemarketing to only ten per cent. These results show the benefit of SMEs using marketing budgets for digital technologies. 

An earlier study by Our Social Times and Constant Contact asked marketing professionals working for small agencies or consultancies what changes they expect to see in marketing spends over the next year. 

Topping the charts is content marketing. 46 per cent of respondents thought that spend in this area would grow over the next year, with a further 53 per cent predicting that costs would stay the same. This was closely followed by social media marketing, with 41 per cent expecting an increase in spending, and SEO which saw 40 per cent of respondents predicting a rise in spending. 

For SMEs especially, it's important to make the most of budgets for marketing. It's clear that consumers are now much more receptive to digital communication methods, meaning that traditional methods will now lose value for businesses.