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August 15, 2014

One in four UK firms struggles with marketing

One in four UK firms struggles with marketingA quarter of UK businesses believe their marketing isn’t performing as well as it should, with a third of these complaining that the difficulty of making an impact with advertising is the biggest barrier to success.

The survey conducted by Catalogues 4 Business (C4B) found that 24% of UK businesses think that their marketing isn’t working, with 33% saying that advertising is failing to have an impact.

C4B polled more than 300 UK firms across a range of sectors. The results show that the most popular marketing methods are networking (39%) and email marketing (34%) with advertising coming third – despite the fact that a third of respondents said it was “hard to make an impact through advertising”.

Ian Simpson, C4B managing director, said: “The fact that one in four businesses is concerned about the value of their marketing is an eye-opener. Without an effective marketing plan, that’s properly implemented, the chances of success are severely hampered. What’s particularly interesting is the amount of businesses that believe advertising is ineffective, yet still use it as a marketing tool.”

Despite the concerns, the survey showed that advertising was still regarded as the second most successful deliverer of sales, with 19% of businesses attributing their sales specifically to the medium, placing it second only to networking at 24%.

What’s more, 9% of respondents plan to use advertising to bring in new customers over the next 12 months – only social media (10%) and Search Engine Optimisation (10%) appeared higher in the list.

Simpson said: “It just goes to show that businesses need to adapt their marketing to suit their offering. Some forms of marketing work much better than others but it’s all dependent on the type of business that you run.”

He added: “Advertising still look set to be a popular inclusion in the marketing mix over the next year. However, relatively modern marketing techniques have surged to the fore. And the results suggest that tech savvy firms are looking to exploit modern practices to stay ahead of their competitors.”

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