SMEs are still falling short in terms of documenting their marketing strategies and are not investing enough annual revenue into the practice, according to a new study released this week by Outbound Engine.
While a documented strategy can be the difference between success and failure for content marketing, 50% of the 350 owners of small and medium-sized enterprises surveyed said they still do not have a plan in place for the next 12 months. The absence of any framework is making it difficult for SMEs to align marketing with the wider business.
However, the lack of planning is not just isolated to marketing as 25% of respondents said they are still unsure about the best methods for growing their respective businesses in 2019. There is also a reluctance to double down on marketing campaigns due to a feeling of apprehension about the time and effort it will require to execute.
SMEs can ease the burden by working with third-party agencies and the study indicated that time investment in marketing of just 5% is actually enough to drive revenue growth. Four in five said spending at least a portion of their annual revenue on marketing resulted in growth last year.
Third party agencies being the solution is supported by the fact that 86% of owners would rather focus on other areas of their business, with the majority admitting they currently spend five hours or less on marketing each week. Two-thirds also say they are more stressed about general business matters compared to last year.