UK SMEs embracing digital and social platforms.

The B2B Customer Management Marketing Spend 2012 survey questioned 3,500 SME business owners, who work in the B2B services sector, about their marketing plans for 2012. It ascertained which marketing platforms will be used in 2012, which platform a company is allocating the largest portion of their budget to, and the overall size of their 2012 marketing budget.

Overall marketing mix in 2012

The overall marketing mix shows SMEs are dividing their activity over several platforms. Email and corporate websites are the most popular (17 per cent) with social media, networking and direct marketing tied in third place (13 per cent).

Their responses show digital platforms are proving popular with SMEs. However the traditional B2B platforms of networking, direct marketing are still important routes to market.

SME marketing budget priorities in 2012

The second part of the survey questioned which marketing platforms are allocated the largest part of the SMEs budget in 2012. Respondents could only chose one marketing platform when answering this question.

The responses show that traditional B2B marketing platforms, such as exhibitions and direct marketing, and still attracting the lions share of the SME budget (18% each). The top spot is shared with the corporate website, demonstrating SMEs place great emphasis on getting their website right.

Platforms such as email marketing and social media (4% each), which were popular choices in the first question are not attracting significant budget share. This could demonstrate the lower cost of marketing activity on these platforms, or it could indicate SME owners see those platforms as useful, but not essential.

Total marketing budgets in 2012

Given the still delicate nature of the economy it would be expected that marketing budgets are under pressure in 2012. Indeed 39% of respondents indicated their marketing budget for 2012 was under £10,000.

32 per cent of respondents are planning on spending about £100,000 on marketing activity in 2012, showing some degree of confidence amongst the larger SMEs. The other 28% are spending between £10,000 and £50,000.

Overall the B2B Customer Management Marketing Spend 2012 survey shows SMEs are being ‘forward-looking’ in their marketing approach and bringing digital and social platforms into the marketing mix. However they are still focussing the main part of their budget allocations on the traditional routes to market.

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