Marketing and advertising are vital to protecting business during a recession, according to a poll of small to medium-sized firms.
The poll of 560 businesses across the regions earning less than £15 million found 40% planned to boosts pending on marketing and advertising over the next 12 months.
The online survey was carried out by Ciao Surveys on behalf of Lloyds TSB Commercial.
Hoteliers, caterers and leisure firms are the most committed to marketing with 52% planning to increase marketing activities in a bid to attract new customers while 45% of manufacturers and 40% of retailers intended to boost marketing.
Many firms that feel vulnerable about retaining current customers have already upped their marketing spend in the face of the economic downturn, with 34% of respondents having campaigned to attract new customers. Nearly half of the SMEs in the hotel, catering and leisure sector have already deployed advertising and direct marketing to boost business.
52% of firms across all sectors are worried about customer demand and retaining clients is also a concern for 44%.
Lloyds TSB has just launched a support programme for British businesses with a free advice website to help small firms at www.lloydstsb.com/businesssupport . The site includes dedicated guides on topics such as how to cut monthly costs and how to obtain a better deal from suppliers.