Transportation & Storage SMEs gain most from marketing

By Freddie Pierce
UK Transportation and Storage businesses feel they have the most to gain from increased marketing, following research by Pitney Bowes. Research conduct...

UK Transportation and Storage businesses feel they have the most to gain from increased marketing, following research by Pitney Bowes.

Research conducted in the first two months of 2013 show that the SMEs are losing out on up to £122 billion in sales by allowing their marketing to slip off the radar, with the transport and storage sector claiming they have the most to gain from increased marketing activity.

The research was conducted by Pitney Bowes in support of its pbSmart Essentials launch, and found that the average SME is only achieving 39 percent of its planned marketing activity. Yet when business owners were asked to predict the sales impact produced by increased marketing activity, results showed average growth of 9.2 percent compared to 2011 prices[1]. This is most apparent in the Transportation and Storage sector, which predicted an average growth of 18.9 percent.

The research, carried out with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), demonstrates a clear disparity between planned marketing activity and the reality of what takes place.

Three-quarters (77 percent) recognise that it is important to the success of their business, however a third rate their efforts over the last six months at under 5/10, with a total of 11 percent admitting to doing none of the marketing they had planned.

When asked what’s holding them back, SME owners cited time (21 percent) and money (36 percent). Prioritisation is also a clear issue as the average owner juggles seven different roles on a daily basis and admits that buying stationery (35 percent) is ahead of marketing (32 percent). More established SMEs (25 years plus) are closest to achieving planned levels of marketing, with just under a third (31 percent) claiming to have achieved their marketing plan.

Ryan Higginson, Vice President Digital Channel Europe, at Pitney Bowes says: "There is a great opportunity for savvy SMEs, particularly in the Transportation and Storage sector, to grab a slice of the £122billion but to do so they must look for ways to embrace every sales opportunity and maximise profit.

“Implementing digital marketing is one way of doing this and easy-to-use, low-cost online tools, can help set up a digital marketing campaign in under a day.”

*The £122 billion and £43 billion figures were calculated by the Centre for Economics and Business Research in the following way:

  • SMEs report that they can raise sales by an average of 15.2% if they maximise the impact of their marketing effort
  • Taking sales gained from other SMEs into account, Cebr estimates that this would result in a 9.2% sales increase for the SME sector, a rise of up to £122 billion in 2011 prices
  • According to survey results, the sector which would benefit most from a rise in sales is ICT – 13.4% - and lowest is the wholesale and retail trade – 5.6%
  • If a stable relationship between value added and turnover still holds under these circumstances, this would result in a rise in value added of £43 billion on 2011 prices

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