50% of Small Businesses Lack a Marketing Strategy

Written by
on 28 Aug 2023

The study of 350 small to medium-sized business owners found 50% lack a marketing strategy in 2019.
The Outbound Engine survey asked the business owners about various aspects of their business. Including their overall and net revenue growth, stress levels, if anything was preventing business goal success, their most effective marketing tactics, how they see themselves growing and more.

Here at Caffeinate Digital, as an up-and-coming Perth digital marketing agency, we know that we’re going to implement these findings where possible. And if you’re a small or medium-sized business, so should you!

Here are some key highlights from the study.

Key Factors Affecting Small Business Marketing in 2019

Overwhelmingly, the study sheds light on some frightening and incredibly relevant insights. Noting that small business owners are disproportionately stressed, overwhelmed, pressed for time, and have limited or limiting budgets.

Also, 62% of small business owners are equally or more stressed about their business this year, compared to the previous.

As a result, their marketing efforts are falling to the wayside, the study finds:
25% of respondents are unsure of how they plan to grow their businesses in 2019
55% of owners spend less than 5% of annual revenue on marketing
Over 58% of SMB owners spend five hours or fewer on marketing every week
86% of respondents would rather spend their time on other business activities than spending time on marketing

The study noted a large majority of small to medium owners don’t have the time to spend to market their business effectively. Paired with a lack of spending power, they’re more stressed and than ever and significantly more likely to run one-off, spur-of-the-moment campaigns.

(READ: Are You One of the 51% Not Delivering the Right Content?)

Regardless, when asked, 81% of respondents did see growth after investing. When investing between 5% and 10% of annual revenue in marketing in 2018, revenue growth was seen. With data like this, it’s not unexpected to want to invest more time and money.

By comparison, only 50% of respondents who invested less than 5% of revenue into marketing experienced revenue worth.

Lightbulb in front of an illustrated background wall

How to Create a Marketing Strategy with Limited Resources

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Experience tells us, with a small increase in marketing investment leads to small and medium-sized businesses to see increased revenue and growth.

Despite what many may believe, with some sound planning, implementing a robust, yet financially responsible marketing strategy is achievable. For any business, there are options:

Hire a marketing agency

Hiring a marketing agency is not so out of reach as you think. Agencies fight for your business by producing highly-targeted, high-performing campaigns and content. And with such increased competition, they’ll want to make sure you get the stellar results you’re needing.

An example of the agency model is one of collaboration. What you might pay one in-house marketer per month, can be spent to have a bunch of brains in an agency do the same work.

For an agency, there’s nothing worse than a poor reputation. So the 100% effort you put into your business will be matched by your chosen agency. On top of this, oftentimes agencies love to develop and implement strategies. So you’re likely to get a great marketing strategy, implemented by seasoned professionals, for a great price!

(READ: The Customer Value Journey Roadmap)

Take an online course

If hiring an agency isn’t your speed, there are some excellent marketing courses online which could help. Some are for a fee, others aren’t. However, all of them are run by individuals who know what they’re talking about.

There are many courses out there. A great one is the Google Digital Garage. They run a host of courses in which you get a certification at the end. From Marketing Fundamentals to Advanced Marketing, to courses in content, SEO and design. There are loads out there!

Hire a new marketing graduate

Sometimes people are hesitant to hire fresh graduates. However, it’s the graduates who are often the most hungry to make their name. With a mind full of the most up-to-date marketing and business tactics and information, they’re a great, if underused, resource.

Maybe for your business, if you’re not up for paying a salary, get an intern. When they inevitably do an excellent job, maybe you can look into hiring them later on!

A great way to find a new graduate is to head over to hiring sites such as Seek or Indeed. Post your ad looking for an intern or a hire and watch all of the hungry grads swarm to work with you. Another way is to reach out to one of the numerous groups of young marketers in your area. Trust us, there are many industry-specific groups out there. Whether they’re on Facebook or their own website, scout them out and ask to post in their forum.

In Summary

The data shows that even a minimal time investment can influence positive revenue growth. There is little reason to not invest some more time. However, this isn’t always feasible for you or other business owners. Still, there are ways to improve your marketing efforts and to subsequently see positive growth.

To conclude, sometimes just a little bit of effort goes a long way. Whether this is to make a new hire, taking the time to up-skill or hiring a marketing agency. If hiring a marketing agency is on the cards for you, feel free to set a meeting with one of us here at Caffeinate Digital. As a booming Perth digital marketing agency, you better believe that we’d love to work with you to help grow your brand!

To see the full study click the link, here.

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