A small business support organisation has launched a new service designed to take the mystery out of marketing for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Forum of Private Business has teamed up with SME marketing specialist nxo in order to offer straightforward marketing solutions to Forum members.
The move comes after recent Forum research found almost three quarters (70%) of its members intend to invest in sales and marketing in the near future.
The figure, taken from the November findings of the Forum’s Economy Watch panel, reflects a growing interest in marketing among SMEs as the UK economy heads out of recession. It shows a further increase from the findings of the Economy Watch panel in October, when almost half (45%) of members said they intended to invest in sales and marketing.
However, the Forum believes many SMEs are uncertain over what the ‘black art’ of marketing actually involves.
As a result, the not-for-profit organisation has entered into a partner agreement with nxo to demystify the process for its members and provide clear, cost-effective marketing solutions. As a unique national network of franchised marketing experts, nxo can offer its services to smaller firms around the country and has specialised in the SME sector for almost 10 years.
Forum members will be able to take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultancy with nxo, worth around £500. They will then benefit from nxo’s holistic list of services, ranging from events, branding and leaflet design, through to SMS marketing and iPhone apps.
Forum of Private Business chief executive Phil Orford said: "Seeking out marketing support is often confusing for small firms because there are so many potential strands to the process – it can involve everything from social media campaigns and promotional text messaging, to formal events and exhibitions.
"However, nxo will be on hand to demystify the entire process for our members and simply explain how they can best raise awareness of their services to the maximum amount of potential customers.
"That is what marketing is all about and I’m sure this new service will help plenty of smaller businesses to grow and become more profitable."
Mr Orford added: "Several Forum members have already used nxo’s services and have been delighted with the results. nxo’s experts not only revolutionised our members’ marketing activities, they also identified considerable cost savings which could be made to their existing marketing arrangements as part of the service."
The chairman of nxo, Philip Dyer, said: "All too often, owner-managers will turn to a second-rate company to provide marketing services because it’s local, it’s run by a friend or it’s the only marketing business they’ve heard of. And often, as they’re unsure as to what to expect, small business owners end up getting charged over the odds for inappropriate or ineffective services.
"Because of this, we can often identify huge savings on what businesses are already spending on things like websites, advertising and search engine optimisation.
"We will get together with Forum members and come up with a range of different solutions to their problems at a range of different budgets – ultimately in order to grow their businesses and help them become more profitable."
The Forum is providing nxo’s services to its members through its ‘Development Director’ business support solution – a range of products and services designed to help SMEs drive the growth and success of their firms.
The Forum recently introduced a range of other new products and services via seven other solutions -‘Finance Director’, ‘Legal Director’, ‘HR Director’, ‘Health and Safety Director’, ‘Purchasing Director’, ‘Communications Director’ and ‘Managing Director’ – in order to provide tailored business support to its members.