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Stats, you’ve got to love ‘em.

According to the Office for National Statistics, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) provide 33% of the UKs turnover, 48% of private sector employment but only account for 18% of UK marketing spend.

According to the Centre for Economics and Business research, SMEs spend £24k a year on average on marketing. A significant number think that increasing marketing spend is a key to market growth.

Here’s the interesting bit.

According to the Advertising Association, every £1 spent on advertising benefits an SME eight times as much as it would a larger firm.

The barriers are well known – lack of budget, expertise and time. But the upside potential is fantastic. Smaller businesses are more agile and can tactically implement marketing strategies in a way that bigger companies would struggle with.

A recent article in Marketing Week quoted Karen Fraser, director of Credos – the Advertising Association’s think-tank. She said “I can’t see a situation where you wouldn’t want to spend money so that more of your potential customers know that you and your products exist. However, there are a significant number of small business owners that see it as a cost, they are not seeing it as an investment in the future of their business.”

It’s all a question of value for small businesses and I think this is where they’ve been let down by agencies in the past. Excellent targeting and laser sharp focus is the key in making the most of budgets.

Be bold, get the strategy right, execute it brilliantly and SMEs can beat the big guys!