Over half of trade businesses are being left behind by the digital revolution according to a new study, allowing their more tech savvy competitors to win new customers at their expense.
IronmongeryDirect, the UK’s largest online and mail order supplier of ironmongery products to the trade, invited 10,000 tradespeople to take part in an annual study which examines the marketing habits of trade businesses across the UK.
The findings show a clear split between those companies investing in growing their business using digital marketing, developing effective websites as well as harnessing the potential of Google ads and social media.
59% of businesses admitted that they currently spend nothing marketing their business online, with just under half this number (25%) wanting to harness digital marketing but admitting that they didn’t know where to start.
A hardcore of digital deniers (13%), were insistent that they didn’t need anything more than word of mouth to bring in new work.
In contrast, 33% of businesses are using digital marketing to grow their customer base, spending on average between 1 to 5% of their annual turnover on digital. A smaller number were also using social media as a tool to bring in new business. The most popular was Facebook (12%) followed by Twitter (5%).
Wayne Lysaght-Mason, managing director at IronmongeryDirect, said:
"The results of the study clearly show the growing importance of digital marketing within trade businesses, but also show that many feel they are being left behind as customers use digital media more and more to find trades people with a good reputation.To help those wanting to begin using digital marketing to help grow their business, IronmongeryDirect has created a downloadable guide with some basic tips and plans to create further support for both novices and those already investing in digital marketing, plus top tips on how to save hundreds of pounds on marketing activities. The guides can be downloaded from www.IronmongeryDirect.com/toolbox
“Clearly digital marketing isn’t the only thing that’s important, it’s clear from the study that traditional word of mouth is still the dominant way through which people are gaining new work. However, as the growing use of social media as a marketing tool shows, savvy businesses are using digital marketing as a way to tap into people using sites such as Facebook to pass on recommendations.”
Wayne adds: "There are simple things all tradespeople can do – even if they are just a one man band – to help them keep up with the changes in how people use the internet to find and choose people for jobs.
“We want to help pass on our expertise as a digital business to help our customers grow and continue to be successful.”
For more information, visit www.IronmongeryDirect.com/toolbox
T: 0808 168 28 28
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