Bristol, United Kingdom (PressExposure) April 06, 2009 -- UK businesses have slashed their advertising spend during the recession, but small firms must continue to advertise, according to marketing experts.
Small businesses have to stay competitive and they will suffer if they stop advertising their business altogether, says David Gent, expert contributor to Marketing Donut, the new marketing website dedicated to SMEs, and managing director of David Gent Creative.
âSmall firms, especially in a recession, have to treat advertising and marketing as an investment,â he says. âBusiness owners need to generate new business and advertising helps to do that. It has been proved that if you cut back too much in recessionary times, you lose market share.â
Nevertheless, there was a sharp drop in spending on advertising in the UK in the last quarter of 2008, according to figures compiled by the World Advertising Research Center for the Advertising Association. In the fourth quarter of 2008, advertising spend plunged by almost 10 per cent year on year with the newspaper sector experiencing the biggest faller, suffering a 12 per cent drop.
The figures highlight just how quickly businesses are prepared to slash advertising budgets in this uncertain economic climate. On a more positive note, there was a rise in internet advertising spend, with a 17.3 per cent boost in the fourth quarter of 2008 year on year. However, this growth rate has more than halved since 2006/7.
For small firms looking to make cut-backs, Gent offers this advice. âThereâs always scope for trimming and it makes sense to look for cheaper marketing options.â
âLocal radio advertising can be very good for any firm thatâs got a local catchment area. Also, directories are a bedrock for small firms. And SMEs operating in a specific niche should look at specialist trade magazines that deliver the right audience.â
Indeed, small firms should be able to negotiate good rates on advertising space and airtime at the moment. âIt is a buyersâ market up to a point and there are some deals to be done,â says Gent.
For some small businesses it could be time to try a new form of advertising. Poster advertising, for example, can make a big impact. âPoster advertising can be effective but it often needs widespread coverage,â says Gent. âHowever, if you are in a specific location, you could have one big poster site advertising the fact that you are around the corner.â
Itâs all about maximising opportunities, says Gent. Entrepreneurs should take advantage of every chance to display their phone number and website, whether they are advertising in a local paper or displaying signage on their premises or vehicle.
Become a Marketing Donut expert by visiting the blog http://marketingdonutblog.co.uk/contributors/ Find out how to join Marketing Donut here http://marketingdonutblog.co.uk/join/ Find more information on David Gent Creative here, http://www.davidgentcreative.com
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