New report finds less than a third of finance companies have a marketing strategy

After a long period of economic stagnation, a new study of almost 2,000 decision-makers has found that financial services companies may struggle to achieve their growth targets – with just 32% having a marketing action plan. 

The Marketing Maturity Report, by The Marketing Centre, asked business leaders from small and medium-sized businesses across the UK to mark themselves against 60 statements, to highlight a growing business and marketing planning gap in the UK.

Of the respondents in the financial services industry, just over half (52%) follow a documented business plan, setting out how they will achieve their business goals and objectives. However, they fall short on marketing strategies – with just 32% delivering a marketing plan with regular, timely marketing activities.

Other findings from the report for the financial services industry include:

Seven in ten (70%) think they know which audiences they’re targeting with their marketing, putting the industry in the top five.

38% measure their lead conversion rate at each stage of their pipeline, making finance the second-best industry for this.

Almost half (45%) also measure the profitability of customers regularly – only surpassed by the utilities, fashion and packaging industries.

Overall, the financial services industry came fourth in the industry analysis out of 23 sectors, when looking at marketing maturity across all 60 questions.

The findings reflect the current state of SMEs in the UK, suggesting that many are limited by resources and have a lack of understanding of how to achieve their goals, highlighting a significant planning gap in the country’s economy.

Of all industries, the marketing and advertising industry came first, ranking best overall for all 60 questions, followed by the fashion, packaging and financial industries, based on The Marketing Centre’s Marketing 360 Assessment Tool. The automotive, agriculture and engineering industries were found to have the biggest overall risk to their marketing and business health.

Pete Jakob, marketing director at  The Marketing Centre, said:

“The lack of strategic business and marketing planning is a huge issue for UK SME leaders – who are essentially marketing in the dark. A well-crafted business and marketing plan is not just a blueprint, but a safeguard against uncertainties, a guide for companies to grow, and a shield for overall business success.

“The saying is true – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. With more than half of companies in the UK not having a business or marketing plan, there are significant risks, and it’s crucial for business owners to realise that a documented business plan leads the way for marketing success to align with your vision.

“A strategy gives senior leaders the confidence that budgets will be channelled into the right areas, and activity will be measured and optimised to drive brand awareness, positive sentiment and ultimately sales. A strategy helps to steer the ship, and with that comes focus on reporting, CRM systems, tools and lead generation.”

Readers can see the full Marketing Maturity Report here:

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