GM Thought of the Week – AAccelerate for Growth – adapting agency approach to support SMEs
Small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) represent 99% of businesses and 47% of private sector turnover in the UK. Despite this, the advertising expenditure of such organisations represents only 18% of advertising spend recorded, with only 43% of them currently investing in advertising.
It is therefore not surprising that the ad industry and advertisers alike are welcoming the AAs pilot scheme in Scotland and the West Midlands aimed at driving economic growth by encouraging SMEs to invest in advertising through fiscal incentives.
But do agencies need to adapt their services to better align their offer with the needs of these advertisers to drive a long-term change in behaviour?
SMEs say that cost, lack of understanding of the benefits of advertising and not knowing how to advertise are the key barriers. So how have Generation Media adapted our service to better support new advertisers within the SME sector?
Our business model supports clients with limited budgets, often challenger brands striving to obtain the next level of growth. Understanding the importance of creating plans that deliver positive return on investment for hard fought for marketing budgets, we treat every penny of our clients’ budgets as if they were our own. We strive for transparent and mutually beneficial partnerships where we in turn benefit from the long-term business success of our clients.
We hold clients’ hands through the process, offering relevant training opportunities both in house, through third parties and trade body events. By increasing their depth of knowledge, we develop a close working relationships, approaching challenges and opportunities from a joined-up perspective.
Through in house and carefully selected preferred partners we aim to deliver a full service, offer to meet the clients’ needs and eradicate the need for multiple agency touchpoints. SMEs can often have limited marketing resource in house, by operating as an extension to their marketing team, we cement the trust of the client-agency relationship working in partnership to meet a common goal.
Finally, flexibility and agility are a must. Lead times can often be short with an increasing need in a digital world to react in real time. Whilst automation helps in the process, there also needs to be a cultural shift within the agency to deliver this to clients’ day to day. Through holistically trained teams who are all client facing, we can meet the expectations of SME businesses where the report lines are short and decisions are being made in real time.
Whilst there is no doubt SMEs can contribute to advertising industry growth, it is critical the agency model that is adapted to meet their needs. Through building their understanding, focusing on ROI and providing an agile, full service offer, we can ensure a positive experience resulting in pilot campaigns forming, part of long term growth strategy.
Lisa Morgan, Managing Director