A lack of experience or knowledge, being too short on time and the belief that marketing won’t be beneficial to their business have been revealed as the biggest reasons behind why the average UK start-up owner is only spending around an hour and a half each week on ensuring their marketing plan is in place, culminating in less than one day out of a full month.

The team at affilinet UK polled 1,838 business owners for the research, all of whom founded a company within the last three years that they still considered to be a ‘start-up’. Each participant revealed that they currently employed 10 or fewer employees and had no current outsourced marketing activity taking place within the business. All were asked a series of questions relating to their marketing efforts.

First of all, respondents were asked to estimate roughly how long each week they were able to dedicate to the marketing efforts of their start-up, with the average answer emerging at just 90 minutes a week, or 6 hours a month. When the start-up owners were then asked to break down the areas of marketing they are currently dedicating the largest proportion of their working week towards, the most common answers were “working on or selling products/services” (27%), “setting up a functional website” (18%) and “logistics and operations” (13%).

When asked to state if they’d ideally like to spend more time focusing on marketing, the vast majority (84%) agreed that it was going to be more of a priority for their business during the next twelve months.

When given a list of reasons behind why they felt they hadn’t been able to dedicate more time to the marketing efforts of their start-up, and asked to state all which applied to the, the top five answers emerged as follows:

- We have a lack of marketing experience/knowledge within the business – 64%
- We don’t have the time at present to dedicate any more time to marketing efforts – 57%
- I don’t feel marketing will be as beneficial to the business as other elements at this point – 41%
- I am waiting for more budget to implement marketing activity - 36%
- Our previous marketing efforts weren’t effective, so we took a step back - 17%

When asked if they believed making the decision to outsource marketing efforts within their business to an external agency or consultant, almost two thirds (65%) admitted that they agreed it would. What’s more, just over a third of respondents revealed this step was going to be a priority for them within the upcoming twelve months in order to spend more time on marketing their business.

Richard Greenwell, head of affiliate development and operations at affilinet, said: “Marketing should ideally be at the heart of any new business start-up. Of course other things surrounding product and service offerings should take centre stage at the beginning, but marketing needs to be implemented in order to encourage awareness and continued growth. It’s fairly shocking just how little time and effort many start-up owners are putting into their companies, and whilst it’s great that they plan to outsource efforts eventually, until this budget is in place it should be one of their biggest priorities!”


By Jonathan Davies, editor, Digital Marketing Magazine

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