Report: Aussie SMEs shutting down or outsourcing marketing due to cost

New survey finds in-house marketing roles being removed by nearly half of Australian small to medium businesses

Nearly half of Australian SMEs are looking to remove in-house marketing roles as a cost-reduction strategy and nearly one-third have shut down marketing all together, a new survey claims.

The latest startling results from ask Marketing came from a survey of 100 Australian SME business founders, owners and leaders across industries in June focused on the impact of COVID-19 on company working arrangements.  From this, 47 per cent of SMEs were found to be looking to remove current in-house marketing roles and instead opt for outsourced alternatives, which are seen as more cost-effective.

In addition, 30 per cent said they’d shut down marketing activity altogether as a result of the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and because they believed they couldn’t afford it anymore. The survey found 15.4 per cent had reduced marketing and advertising since March 2020.

What’s more, 13 per cent of CEOs and business leaders said they’d reverted from the traditional marketing agency model since the global pandemic began. Reasons included saving costs, and having greater transparency and autonomy of marketing spent. Just over half (55 per cent) said they plan to continue this leaner approach moving forward.  

As for the most important factors to the marketing function, SMEs surveyed cited being results-focused, cost-effective and integrated with systems and operations as their top three. The least important component to business marketing functions was “agile”.

“The pandemic has seen many organisations, particularly small businesses, reflect and question their marketing spend and consider where they can realistically cut costs without having a detrimental impact on their organisation’s ability to promote their products and services strategically whilst growing their brand,” ask Marketing co-founder, Alexandra King, commented.

The research is part of a larger effort by ask Marketing to understand the appetite for its own ‘virtual marketing manager’ offering, which combines a lower-level in-house marketing resource with more strategic expertise from the agency. And according to ask Marketing, there is such an appetite, with 85 per cent of respondents saying they believe their businesses could benefit from this hybrid kind of approach.

According to CMO’s recent State of the CMO 2020 research, the top marketing functions being run in-house by at least 70 per cent of the Australian businesses surveyed include marketing strategy, email marketing, social media management, data and analytics, content production and creative and media production.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

 

 

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

Algorithms that can make sense of unstructured data is the future. It's great to see experts in the field getting together to discuss AI.

Sumit Takim

In pictures: Harnessing AI for customer engagement - CMO roundtable Melbourne

Read more

Real digital transformation requires reshaping the way the business create value for customers. Achieving this requires that organization...

ravi H

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

thanks

Lillian Juliet

How Winedirect has lifted customer recency, frequency and value with a digital overhaul

Read more

Having an effective Point of Sale system implemented in your retail store can streamline the transactions and data management activities....

Sheetal Kamble

​Jurlique’s move to mobile POS set to enhance customer experience

Read more

I too am regularly surprised at how little care a large swathe of consumers take over the sharing and use of their personal data. As a m...

Catherine Stenson

Have customers really changed? - Marketing edge - CMO Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in