Multi-channel advertising and SMEs

There are over 5.7 million SMEs in the UK. The majority of these businesses have, at the very least, a Facebook page.

But not all of them advertise. Moreover, of those that do advertise, the majority of them (over 80% according to the Advertising Association’s report Ad Pays 2) do so on a single channel.

While it is true that multi-channel advertising isn’t right for every business, over the course of our work on Aaccelerate — the pilot to encourage SMEs to undertake multi-channel advertising — we have identified three types of businesses that would really benefit from allocating their marketing budgets across more than one


Early stage: Most likely a consumer-facing brand with investment and an experienced team that have already run businesses.

Scale up: A more established business on the cusp of significant scale that would benefit from a multi-channel campaign.

10 years plus: An older business that has used advertising before and is now in need of a step change approach to the business due to slower growth, greater competition.

Multi-channel does not mean diverting funds from campaigns and channels that are working: it means giving new things a try.

As our work shows, both agencies and media owners are keen to help SMEs undertake the first forays into multi-channel advertising, and the agency model offers strategic help and advice that can ensure best campaign success for the business.

Strategic advice

Good in-house people definitely get good results. But agencies will help you to structure plans and channels in a way that ensure best amplification, complementary channel selection and incredible return on investment.

Some good examples include:

Indulgent pudding client: a campaign of out-of-home advertising, social and TV saw the market share of this small brand increase from 4 to 6% over the course of a month-long campaign. This was maintained with market share rising into double figures, international growth and an acquisition by a large global food manufacturer. A multi-channel campaign contributed significantly to the growth strategy.

Luxury English brand: a paid social strategy that focused on customer acquisition and conversion, which required revision of where and how monies were spent, revision of calls to action and offers and post-purchase advertising brought a considerable return on investment of £31 for every £1 spent by the brand in question.

It is worth a comment that £31 for every £1 spent is an enormous return. But for every £1 spent on multi-channel advertising, there is a £6 return on investment for larger businesses, and this rises to as much as £8 for a smaller business (on average).

If you are thinking about trying something new, get in touch with us. We can help to advise you on best next steps and point you in the direction of further assistance and information too.

#Smallbusinesses #advertising #smes

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