Firejuice Marketing conducted a survey aimed at exploring how small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME) in South Africa carry out marketing plans. 100% of the surveyed businesses believe in marketing as an effective tool, however, only 46% carry out consistent marketing campaigns. 

The questionnaire answered by individuals in key decision-making positions in the SMME sector highlights that half the respondents see marketing providing positive results while only 14% feel it is a driver of their sales pipeline. Another key factor is the lack of attention to marketing, as 76% do not employ dedicated marketing staff.

Positioning and morale are also notable contributors: the majority of respondents (46%) viewed themselves in a ‘growth’ phase while 14% felt stagnant.

What marketing tools are the most popular?

Graphic design is the area of marketing where the most amount of budget is spent (48%) with 25% on copywriting, 18% on photography, 4% on interior design and 30% on none of the above.

Digital marketing dominates the type of marketing tactics employed followed by phone calls and networking. 64% of respondents are cognisant of customer relationships through the usage of an internal CRM software package.

The survey shows that SMMEs feel frustrated by marketing expectations due to cost, great input and low ROI and ineffective delegation by business owners and blame ill-equipped marketing strategies for a lack of proper industry-related leads.

Bernard Jansen, founder of Firejuice said, ‘Clearly, marketing is a powerful tool for growth but this exercise found that it is not carried out consistently due to lack of knowledge and poor planning, with very few accepting outside help.’ SMMEs end up wasting resources on marketing simply because a clear strategy that commands a good ROI is not adopted.