Only 25% of SMEs Have Employees with Proper Marketing Qualifications

A Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) survey found that only a quarter of small and medium businesses (SMEs) have staff with a formal marketing qualification. And, only 13% have marketing specialists on board.

“The lack of experience, training and qualifications in marketing means many business owners are taking a chance on amateur marketing, rather than professional effective marketing.” (CIM Survey)

The key points emerging from CIM’s research on ‘The state of marketing amongst SMEs’ were:

  • 41% of companies lack general marketing skills.
  • 30% have no specific marketing experience.
  • Only 24% hold formal marketing qualifications.

This strikes a chord with my experience. Marketing cutbacks and free marketing channels like social media have dumbed down marketing.

I’m amazed how many people in marketing positions have little understanding of marketing, and, at best, only understand a small number of marketing communications channels. And, they certainly don’t understand marketing strategy.

But, what do we mean by ‘marketing’?

The questions generates different responses and sometimes confusion.

“Marketing is a philosophy of business that places the customer at the centre of the universe.”

Marketing should not be confused with advertising, PR, sales, having a website or doing social media. These are just communication channels or promotional techniques.

A business must sell its products and services to survive and grow. Pursuing a clear marketing strategy is essential for driving the sales of an organization’s products and services. See more marketing defined and explained in my blog Confused about Marketing?

Some SMEs Don’t Even Monitor Their Customers’ Needs

What’s concerning is that some SMEs don’t regularly research their customers’ needs, the essence of marketing:

  • 27% of SMEs don’t actively explore their customers needs and expectations in relation to their products and services.
  • 43% of SMEs don’t believe innovation is the key to the success of their business.

Even free or low-cost channels such as social media are not being used to their potential.

How will SMEs grow without having and executing a clear marketing strategy? To grow and beat their competition, more SMEs need to get to grips with professional marketing.

“My take on these results is that small businesses need good marketing to deliver their growth ambitions; yet only 7% are seeking the support they need to take their business to new heights.” (Anne Godfrey, CEO at the CIM)

Contact Real Marketing if you need a Marketing Plan & Strategy Consultant.

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