Small firms give marketing top priority

Britain’s smallest companies are the most likely to rate marketing as essential to business success, the most inclined to invest in marketing, and the quickest to recognise the importance of having a marketer at senior level.

A study by the Chartered Institute of Marketing reveals the smaller the business - the more important the art becomes.

Almost 90 per cent of marketers in companies with turnover of less than £1m cited their business process as a high priority.

By contrast, just under half of firms with annual turnover exceeding £100m rated marketing as top priority within their company.

These larger firms are restricting the powers of their marketing operations, as two-thirds of their in-house marketers said they found it difficult to obtain a budget to support their projects.

Among businesses making less than £1m in annual turnover, a creditable 10 per cent of expenditure is devoted to marketing exercises – a significant climb on the national average of 7.2 per cent.

These smaller companies revealed the highest concentration of marketers taking part in the business at a senior level, with just one out of three professionals saying budgets to support marketing projects are difficult to obtain.

“Small companies appear to recognise that marketing is central to success,” said Christine Cryne, the CIM’s chief executive.

“And as it is the smallest organisations that are the most up-beat about their prospects, they also seem confident that their investment in marketing will pay dividends.”

Her comments reflect the Institute’s finding that the polled businesses predicted an average increase in sales of 6.5 per cent, whereas the smallest of companies expect sales to rise by a more bullish 7.5 per cent.

“It’s generally recognised that small and medium enterprises fuel the growth of the UK economy, accounting for 51.3 per cent of the UK’s turnover and employing 58.5 per cent of the workforce,” Ms Cryne said.

“With the recognition that professional marketing is at the heart of the SME business, we can anticipate some positive commercial impact.”


14th October 2005

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