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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

SMEs invest to adapt and survive

22 September 2020

Despite the financial pressures caused by COVID-19, more than three-quarters of small business owners have invested additional budget into their businesses this year.

New research from website building platform Zyro suggests that 77% of small business owners have invested in their businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, focusing mainly on ecommerce, websites, marketing and online advertising.

The findings suggest that:

  • 61% of small business owners have increased spending on their websites and online stores;
  • 20% have launched new marketing campaigns and promotions;
  • 15% have increased their online advertising spend.

Gytis Labašauskas, cmo at Zyro, said "The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on businesses all over the world - especially those without a digital presence. In the face of this adversity, it's great to see so many SMEs recognising the importance of these digital channels and acting quickly to adapt their business models … we expect this migration towards digital channels to continue long after the pandemic."

Meanwhile, Hitachi Capital Business Finance has found that 81% of small business owners surveyed have made key changes to their business and services in order to prepare for the economic uncertainty in the months ahead.

Its poll of 1,447 SMEs has found that 27% of respondents said they were now spending more time talking to their existing clients through online platforms, with 25% saying they were looking to sell more goods and services through online channels. In addition, 21% of respondents said they were investing more in digital marketing to reach new audiences.

Other key steps being taken by SMEs include:

  • Introducing new competitive pricing and offers (19%);
  • Simplifying product lines and focusing on core strengths (17%);
  • Reinventing services to cater to customer needs (16%);
  • Offering new premium services (15%);
  • Picking up business from big brands (13%);
  • Increasing work in overseas markets (12%).

Joanna Morris, head of marketing and insight at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, said: "The majority of bosses have been forced to change many aspects of their business in order to stay afloat. What is striking from our research is the variance of approaches taken by quite different small businesses. They are drawn to the agility of the tech age, but it is noteworthy that the most traditional of enterprises are adapting too - just in a different way."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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