Companies are abandoning traditional marketing in favour of online and mobile channels, research finds.
Some 26 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) report that traditional offline marketing accounts for just 10 per cent of total marketing activity with a further 22 per cent stating that they don’t do any at all, according to research by Pitney Bowes.
Micro-businesses are the most likely to have moved away from traditional offline marketing; in total more than half (54 per cent) say that it accounts for less than 10 per cent of their marketing and that they favour mobile and online avenues to grow their business.
Print advertising looks to be worst hit; while 40 per cent of SMEs have used it previously, only 28 per cent plan to invest further in this tactic in 2013.
Direct mail is still playing a key part in the marketing plan. A fifth of businesses are looking to make an investment here in the next year, although the multichannel approach taken by many SMEs means some funds are being diverted online.
In contrast, confidence in mobile marketing is growing with mobile QR codes, mobile-optimised websites and mobile payments all attracting investment from more SMEs than ever before in 2013.
Additionally, mobile SEO and QR codes are now attracting nearly twice as much interest as previously.
Ryan Higginson, vice president of Digital Channel Europe at Pitney Bowes says, ‘Many SMEs’ success, and even survival, can depend on targeted, effective and easy-to-implement marketing that covers a multitude of channels.
‘Offline will always play a very important role in any strategy but online has really come to the fore.’
The oldest businesses are most likely to have left traditional marketing behind, and a third are doing less than 5 per cent of marketing using standard offline tactics.