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South: Most profitable marketing tactics revealed in Display Wizard study

By Dan Teuton
14 October 2015

Almost three quarters of the UK’s SMEs say face-to-face marketing wins them new business, making it the most popular promotional channel according to a new online survey.

A study on Britain’s most popular marketing tactics has found that a good old-fashioned one-on-one beats new-age marketing platforms hands down.

10,000 British business owners were asked which promotional channels win them business, and 71% of all respondents gave face-to-face marketing the vote.

From attending industry events to traditional print media campaigns, SMEs spilled the beans on the channels they consider most profitable – and while there are clear winners in terms of the most popular platforms, it looks like there’s no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to a modern marketing arsenal.

The research, conducted by Display Wizard, follows the Santander Corporate & Commercial 2015 Business Growth survey, which revealed that British SMEs are looking forward to a 37% increase in turnover during the next five years.

If it ain’t broke

The online survey shed light on the popularity of traditional networking – a format that appears to have stood the test of time with Britain’s business owners.

With an incredible 71% of SMEs endorsing the efficacy of this age-old tactic, the results of the study suggest modern marketing channels are struggling to compete with the primal power of face-to-face exchanges.

The Google gravy train

Unsurprisingly, online marketing came in a close second – bringing in a sizeable 67% of the overall SME vote.

Thanks to a breadth of available strategies and an impressive ROI, online marketing is one of the UK’s most popular advertising channels – especially with Generation Y’s entrepreneurs, 83% of whom use digital tactics to win new business.

The ex(periential) factor

Experiential marketing is fast becoming one of the UK’s favourite promotional channels – with a substantial 38% of business owners surveyed revealing that attending events wins them business.

Womenpreneurs in particular swear by event marketing as a means of finding new customers and clients, as almost 50% of female business owners surveyed gave their vote to this tactic.

Bringing together the unique benefits of face to face, print media and social media marketing, events are the multipurpose marketing tactic taking Britain’s business world by storm.

In light of this increasing popularity, it looks like British businesses are stepping up their event marketing budgets – with 34% of SMEs revealing that they plan to up their investment this marketing channel in 2016, 10% of which will increase events budgets by 50%.

Honourable mentions

Other popular channels backed in the survey included print media and radio – scooping 34% and 19% of the SME vote, respectively – suggesting that some of history’s most prominent advertising strategies have secured a place in the modern marketing toolbox.

A number of the survey’s respondents gave honourable mentions to other lead generation tactics they felt deserved a shout-out – with popular answers including referrals and good old-fashioned word of mouth.

Across the board, Britain’s SMEs have endorsed marketing tactics founded on candid communication – with expressed support for the channels which revolve around direct contact, personal connections and a reputation for superior service.

Put simply, the verdict appears to be that good business is the key to great leads.

Topline results:

Which marketing channels win you business?

·         Face to face/ networking: 71.0%
·         Online marketing: 66.7%
·         Events: 38.4%
·         Print media: 34.1%
·         Radio: 18.8%
·         Telemarketing: 16.4%
·         Other: 2.9%



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