Majority of small firms recognise marketing spend benefits

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Majority of small firms recognise marketing spend benefits (image credit: iStock/tuk69tuk)

New research published by online auction platform eBay have highlighted a considerable upturn in the level of marketing spending that will be seen by the UK's small businesses in the coming months.

According to the company's findings, almost half (45 per cent) of the nation's small businesses will increase their amount of spend on marketing activities in the next 12 months, with almost two-thirds (61 per cent) recognising the importance of expenditure in this area as a key driver of recruitment and growth.

Moreover, the results showed that almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of UK small business leaders understand the importance of investing in areas like search engine optimisation and other marketing initiatives in order to promote themselves and their wares more effectively.

Responding to the research, marketing director at eBay UK Gareth Jones said: "At a time when many small businesses are expressing disappointment at the availability of funding, they are still savvy enough to know the ROI that increasing marketing spend can have on their bottom line.

"This is good news for the industry and the economy more broadly."

However, marketing was not the only area in which small businesses plan to increase their levels of expenditure in the coming months, with growth in product offerings seen as a priority for 35 per cent of respondents.

Improving levels of customer services was also viewed as a priority by 12 per cent of those that took the survey, with other key areas of investment including boosting staff wages (11 per cent) and upskilling their workforce (ten per cent).

Offering some top tips for firms keen to make the most of their expenditure, Mr Jones advised company leaders to consider investment in the following areas as well:

  1. Social listening - by monitoring what is happening within a company's industry and what customers, clients and staff are talking about, social listening can provide significant insight into potential areas for growth.
  2. Ensuring sites are mobile-friendly - businesses need to be sure they are not missing out on interaction with their customers through poorly-optimised websites, especially given the growing number of smartphone users across the UK.
  3. Focus on Big Data - ensure all interactions with customers are logged, from purchases to social media conversations. This helps to build up a picture of clients likes, dislikes and potential trends, helping to ensure businesses are making their marketing budgets go as far as they can.

By investing in each of these key areas, Mr Jones believes many small firms could reap significant rewards in the months ahead.