One in two small businesses (50%) say that boosting sales is the top marketing priority for their business, according to new research from elephant communications. The new study asked a GB representative sample of 529 small businesses which marketing factors were most important to their business in the current economic climate.
In addition to boosting sales, 46% wanted to get their name better known and 42% wanted to generate more leads. Around a third of small businesses mentioned the importance of creating a buzz - getting people talking about their firm - and others wanted to get more people to understand what their business did.
The findings are from ‘Promoting Growth’ – a new research series for 2012 from elephant communications, which explores how small businesses are using various forms of marketing and communications to help deliver business growth.
The small business poll also revealed that women in business placed greater importance on creating a buzz, improving web traffic and also improving search engine optimisation.
Around the regions, small businesses in the east of England were most likely to prioritise getting their name known (57%), improving web traffic and attracting national contracts were most likely to be small business priorities in the Midlands (30% and 21%) and creating a buzz was seen to be most important in London (35%).
The research suggested that small businesses were looking at a range of measures to generate growth and many of their priorities related to improving name awareness, creating conversations and enhancing prospects. Set against this, the average small business planned to put aside less than five per cent of their profits to invest in PR and marketing their business – with 27% planning to spend nothing.
As part of its four-prong community investment programme, elephant communications is running quarterly free advice days for small businesses to help them make the most of simple no-cost and low-cost PR techniques and approaches to grow their business and reputations.
Guy Bellamy, Managing Director at elephant communications commented: “Many small businesses and start-ups may not be able to afford expensive advertising and marketing campaigns but, for many, PR offers a practical and low-cost alternative – and there are lots of simple things small firms can do to raise their profile. Big businesses usually make full use of PR and communications and in the current economic climate, when budgets are tight, it makes sense to give small firms access to simple tips and techniques that can make a real difference. At such an important time for the economy, small businesses have a vital role to play and through our quarterly free advice days for small businesses, we are keen to do our bit to help.”
elephant communications is a new communications consultancy that offers fresh thinking for a change world and works with national clients spanning a number of industry sectors. The elephant team’s quarterly free advice days for small business forms part of its four-prong community investment programme. The next quarterly advice day for the end of May will be announced in the next few weeks.