Business development · 27 March 2018

Five reasons startup owners are hiding from their marketing responsibilities

Social media marketing
Many startup owners are avoiding their marketing responsibilities.

The average UK startup owner spends just six hours a month on their marketing efforts, research has revealed.

A recent study, by advertising network Affilinet UK polled 1,838 time-strapped individuals who had founded a company within the last three years.

When asked why they had not dedicated more time to their marketing strategy, the top answer was having a lack of knowledge and experience within their business.

Following this, other reasons were not having any spare time, the belief that it is not beneficial for their business and failing at previous marketing attempts.

  1. Lack of experience/knowledge within the business – 64 per cent
  2. No time at present to dedicate any more time to marketing efforts – 57 per cent
  3. Don’t feel it will be as beneficial to the business as other elements at this point – 41 per cent
  4. Waiting for more budget to implement marketing activity – 36 per cent
  5. Previous marketing efforts weren’t effective, so we took a step back – 17 per cent

Commenting on the findings, Richard Greenwell, head of affiliate development and operations at Affilinet, said: “Marketing should ideally be at the heart of any new business startup.”

“Other things surrounding product and service offerings should take centre stage at the beginning, but marketing needs to be implemented in order to encourage awareness and continued growth.”

Two thirds of owners believe it would make a positive difference to their business if they were to outsource marketing efforts to an external agency or consultant.

Despite this, participants revealed that they had no current outsourced marketing activity taking place within their businesses.

Although, one third are planning to outsource to consultants or agencies within the next year.

“It’s fairly shocking just how little time and effort many start-up owners are putting into their companies, and whilst it’s great that they plan to outsource efforts eventually, until this budget is in place it should be one of their biggest priorities,” added Greenwell.

The survey revealed that, when startup owners did focus on marketing, they spent most their time on selling products and services and setting up a website.

Rather than outsourcing marketing methods, owners could also practice cheaper alternatives.

Three cost-effective marketing methods for small business owners

Incorporating SEO practices into online content costs nothing and can boost a small company ahead of competition.

Jamie Evans, ecommerce manager at fashion wholesaler Influence Fashion, told Business Advice about the importance of SEO.

“First off, it’s worth learning the basics – the Moz blog is a brilliant (and free) place to find best-in-class SEO tricks, and you can also learn a lot of basic on-page SEO tips from YouTube videos.”

The utilisation of social media can also boost sales especially with the help of online influencers.

Matt Donegan, managing director of Social Circle, an agency specialising in influencers, told Business Advice: “The most effective campaigns for small brands involve working with a number of influencers that have a targeted and defined following.”

As an addition to social media, traditional ways of content marketing can still be valuable to businesses.

Newsletters remain useful for small businesses when reaching audiences and delivering information.

GoDaddy’s VP for EMEA, Stefano Maruzzi, recently told Business Advice why email campaigns hold significant value when used correctly.

“Whether you’re launching a new product, setting up an event or offering a seasonal sale, a well-crafted email is guaranteed to bring more eyeballs to your website. And more traffic leads to more business,” he said.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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