Digital advertising and SMEs, now more than ever

A recent webinar I attended by the IAB looked into how we, as Digital Marketers, can help SMEs utilise Digital Marketing and level out the playing field with larger businesses who have the more budget to spend promoting on Radio, TV or Print.


I wanted to share some takeaways from this interesting research.


Firstly, what is an SME?


SME is an abbreviation for small and medium-sized enterprises. They are businesses who has a number of employees that fall below certain limits


  • In 2019, SMEs made up 99% of all UK businesses.
  • 60% of these SMEs use paid digital advertising.
  • Last year, there were around 5.9 million SMEs in the UK, with a staggering turnover of £2.2 trillion.
  • Digital Marketing is the 3rd highest channel including non-digital advertising.
  • 90% of people in the UK use the internet at home or elsewhere.
  • 81% of SMEs use half of their revenue on Digital marketing.


Did you know… more than 80% of consumers say that they’ll do business with a company if it provides a good personal experience?

Digital Marketing plays a huge role in creating a personalised experience for customers. The use of data driven/ targeted ads has revolutionised the amount of value that is added to a customer’s experience and brings an average of 50-60% more value than non-targeted ads. This is because consumers now only receive ads based on their interests. Many SMEs in the IAB research reported that they are able to serve their customers better using Digital Marketing.


Around 45% of digital ad spend comes from SMEs which totals to a very impressive £7.2bn per annum. However, only 60% of SME’s use paid digital advertising.


So, if digital marketing can improve the value that SMEs provide to their customers, then how come so many are still so reluctant to make the investment?

Let’s take a look at some reasons why…

  1. Many SMEs are actually quite sceptical of Digital Marketing and how much of an impact it can have on the success of their business. Many businesses actually want help, but they will only accept it from a trusted and/or friendly voice.


  1. Almost 32% of SMEs believe that Digital Marketing is too expensive. However, if they were to receive the service from a business that they trusted and had a more friendly approach, maybe this would impact their decision on whether to make the investment or not.


  1. 1 in 5 SME owners don’t have a good knowledge of Digital Marketing and its value. However, they do use other forms of advertising. This shows that they see a need for advertising, but they just need someone to explain to them how and why digital marketing is the future.


So, taking on board the research, how can we help SMEs provide customers with the personal experience they’re looking for?


  • Educate You – At ONQOR, we work together with our clients to demonstrate the value of Digital Marketing and how it can have such a huge impact on the success of their brand.


  • A Tailored Approach – our marketing approach is tailored to each individual business- This allows us to be able to provide value to you and your customers based on your business size and budget.


  • Clear ROI – 37% of SMEs are unsure of how digital can work for them. We will give you a clear financial forecast, helping you visualise the ROI from each area of digital marketing you spend on.

If you need a trusted source, or friend, to help you seek out information about digital advertising – please get in touch with us!