Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are 99 percent of all businesses across the world, yet many choose not to advertise. Many reasons for this reluctance to advertise stem from misconception or misinformation; the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality or thinking advertising means large scale television campaigns with big budgets and even bigger risk.
Do SME’s avoid traditional advertising?
Here are some of the worst offenders and the reality behind the excuses.
They don’t have the money
More than two-thirds (66 percent) of SMEs that don’t advertise see it as financially risky, but there’s no reason for advertising costs to spiral out of control. Advertising is testable, measurable and scalable. SMEs should focus on optimising adverts through testing before committing to costly campaigns and develop consistent, long-term campaigns to get more for their money.
They don’t have the time
Advertising can take time to get right, but the benefits can be huge – more than half of SMEs that advertise (59 percent) report a direct increase in sales. Learning the art of advertising can take time, but can bring great benefits, so do some research and dip a toe into the water.
They have too many things on their plate
Being pulled in so many directions makes it difficult for small business owners to know where to invest their time. Advertising is important, but it isn’t the only thing they have to deal with. Make some time – it can be very worthwhile.
They think it’s for bigger firms
The most prevalent adverts are usually from large companies, but small businesses actually stand to benefit much more from advertising than they do, in fact eight times more! More than three quarters (82 percent) of consumers see unfamiliar brands as risky, so getting the brand out there and gaining exposure is vital for success.
They don’t have the skills
Small businesses often offer a unique skill they want people to pay for, yet many don’t recognise that they can do the same for their business shortfalls: outsource. More than three-quarters (79 percent) of SMEs haven’t contracted out services, or employed agency workers, in the past two years
Disappointment with previous attempts
It’s easy to be deterred when attempts go wrong. Some go as far to conclude that they simply can’t do advertising or it’s incompatible with their business. Neither of these things is true. Many SMEs don’t properly test their adverts for effectiveness before rolling out a campaign, which, while costly and detrimental, is an easy mistake to learn from. A tight budget is still a budget and, spent wisely, it can have a huge impact on business growth and revenue. And success begets success: a successful low-budget campaign can lead to bigger budgets and more campaigns.