The Cost Conscious SME


A marketing campaign is, of course, useless if it does not produce a good Return on Investment (ROI).

One of the most prevalent barriers to PPC adoption quoted, alongside absolute cost, is doubt over exactly this. To demonstrate this point, let us compare perceptions of PPC and Organic Social Media. Fewer than one in three SMEs (29%) believe that PPC gives a good return on investment, compared to 41% for Social Media; and nearly half of SMEs quote absolute cost of PPC as a barrier (48%) compared to just 11% for Organic Social Media. If SMEs are going to invest in PPC, they need convincing on the return they will receive.


All this is leaving many SMEs with the feeling that PPC is too expensive with fewer than one in five (19%) believing it provides good ROI. However, there is some question as to how SMEs know this to be the case as we saw that only 34% of those doing marketing have metrics to track effectiveness. It may be that it is a gut feeling that PPC does not produce good ROI as opposed to a fact. This certainly seems to be the case as in reality, over half of SMEs that use PPC say that it provides a good ROI (52%)!
The ‘cost barrier’ perception is understandable given that in terms of pure monetary value, PPC is a more expensive form of advertising than, for example, social media. However, this misses a key business nuance: ‘time is money’.


On average SMEs using Organic Social Media spend around 5 hours a week managing this activity – that’s about 250 hours a year. Say you value an average employee’s time at £50 per hour; that would equate to £12,500 per year spent on social media. Assuming each PPC click costs an SME 50p, time spent on Organic Social Media equates to 25,000 website clicks per year that could be generated via PPC.
Is your organic Social Media activity generating 25,000 clicks per year?
Indeed, for SMEs who use PPC, they are adamant that when it comes to digital marketing, PPC is the best use of their time, an opinion that is also shared by the
digital-savvy ‘leaders’ who believe that PPC has a better ROI than Social Media.


All stats within this blog has been taken from the Digital SME Survey whitepaper. Which can be downloaded for free here