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Digital marketing 'can help savvy businesses'


Big companies are often criticised for their inability to adapt quickly, with smaller firms traditionally seen as the birthing ground for business innovations because of their greater degrees of flexibility.

However, this isn't true in all areas - the greater financial clout of larger businesses means they can sometimes steal a march on their more boutique counterparts, and digital marketing has been highlighted as one area where small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could be missing out.

According to research from Pitney Bowes, the average SME is only achieving 39 per cent of its planned marketing activity - meaning an average of £122 billion in sales is being missed across the UK, with the transport and storage sector pinpointed as the industry that is least engaged with its digital aims.

The study, carried out with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, also highlighted a common trend among the SME market - while many plan to carry out intense marketing activity, this can often be forgotten, especially in the current economic climate.

Reflecting this is the fact that, although 77 per cent of respondents accepted that marketing could offer a number of positives to their operation, a third rate their efforts over the last 12 months at five out of ten or below.

Ryan Higginson, European vice president for digital channels at Pitney Bowes, suggested that looking for every sale opportunity and attempting to maximise profit is crucial for companies that want to stand out ahead of their rivals.

"Implementing digital marketing is one way of doing this and easy-to-use, low-cost online tools, can help set up a digital marketing campaign in under a day," he added.

Marketing recruiters could see a surge in interest from smaller firms, if Mr Higginson's declarations are correct - certainly, the digital field has risen to prominence in recent years as big firms embrace the power of social media and other new channels.

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