SMEs ‘failing to grasp’ online marketing

A lack of skills when it comes to digital marketing and online networking is preventing the majority of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from venturing online to drive local business, according to research commissioned by Bdaily.

Carried out by OnePoll, the survey found that only one in four (27%) SMEs are carrying out any kind of online marketing to connect with their local business communities.

Two thirds (67%) of the 1,000 small business owners polled cited a shortage of expertise, confidence or understanding of the different sites and opportunities available as a reason for not going online.

The study revealed the importance of grassroots business communities, as the majority of SMEs (56%) stated that local custom is vital to their business.

However, instead of setting up services online, financial pressure is leading to more cost effective methods being chosen. For instance, PR and content marketing are the number one choice (31%), with display advertising (28%) and then email marketing (24%) also proving popular.

Siobhan Bales, Bdaily founder and managing director, said: “I’m astonished that given SMEs account for 99% of all enterprise in the UK and more than half of them rely on local business to survive, so few are using the web to connect with their local business communities.”