SYDNEY: More than half of small businesses in Australia struggle to find the time or money to invest in marketing, according to a new report.

Research by marketing services company Salmat, reported in B&T, has revealed that while 51% of small Australian companies surveyed – defined as having between one and 24 employees – were intending to boost marketing investment in the next year, many believed they lack the money and time to compete against larger companies when it comes to effective marketing.

A lack of human resource was a common theme among small businesses, with just 23% of those surveyed able to hire even one marketing-focused employee.

Likewise, a lack of specialized marketing resource saw many companies operating on shorter timelines for marketing projects, with more than 62% of respondents thinking just three months ahead.

The effectiveness of SME marketing efforts has also been undermined by resource issues, with measurement being sacrificed by many due to a lack of time – just 52% of SMEs spend time on measuring their campaign’s effectiveness, compared to 75% of mid-tier business with 25-200 employees.

Some 44% of those who didn’t measure the effectiveness of their marketing cited a lack of time as the main reason.

Smaller companies were also more likely to invest more money on their website presence, with a focus on direct mail such as letterbox flyers.

However, taking deliberate action to push their website up the search rankings falls through the cracks due to a lack of knowledge and money: just 7.1% and 2.4% respectively invested in SEO and SEM.

Data sourced from B&T; additional content by WARC staff