SMEs frustrated with high cost online advertising

Small businesses report frustration at comparing high costs of online advertising with direct sales and results to their company.

New research by online advertising experts Expressly reveals that 24 per cent of small-to-medium businesses believe current advertising systems, such as those pioneered by Google and Facebook, need to be more effective. More than a quarter of SMEs find current methods of online advertising too expensive.

According to the survey, 34 per cent of SMEs use Google or Facebook ads to attract customers. However, 15 per cent of business respondents believe modern digital ads are poorly targeted and annoying.

Fabrizio Fantini, former McKinsey consultant and co-founder of Expressly, explains, ‘Performance ads are flexible and rewarding for businesses. But the established offering is very inefficient. Businesses have little control over pricing. The ‘cold clicks’ received are rarely from customers in a position to buy immediately. The payment process usually takes too long, and customers are wary of unfamiliar brands.’

Adding to the pain points, typically, a long and repetitive checkout process means few clicks convert to sales. It can be difficult to convert ‘pay-per-click’ leads into sales when the overall customer journey is hampered by an arduous checkout process, unintuitive design or irrelevant lead targeting.

Expressly have developed a simple solution to attract warm leads, while cutting costs.

Andrea Tricoli explains how ‘SMEs can swiftly forge partnerships with other relevant merchants and offer products to existing customers. They gauge the interests of their 18M+ pool of warm leads through previous purchases, resulting in 10-15x higher conversion whilst countering fraud.’

Expressly are optimistic that this new breed of performance advertising will finally allow small businesses to seize every sales opportunity without constraints.

Further reading on online advertising

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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