How do small/medium-sized companies in South Africa market themselves? It is the question we asked ourselves at the start of 2020 and subsequently embarked on a research project to find out. Of course, this would interest us, because as marketing consultants, we continuously work with SMEs in helping them sharpen their marketing strategies. We also know that you can never know your market well enough, and so we decided to do this study.

The below clickable PDF shows a summary of our findings after receiving 102 responses from entrepreneurs and executives at small and medium-sized companies across South Africa. Our overall conclusion is clear: lots of marketing happens but with much frustrations and unclear results. We believe this underlines something we see every day: an obsession with marketing activities (so-called tactics) and a disregard for the careful planning needed to ensure ROI.



In recent months business of all sizes have been disrupted by the onset of COVID-19. Especially sales processes have been impacted since physical customer visits have become more challenging to make, if not wholly un-wanted. The result is a realisation that marketing is indeed a critical part of how all companies – even small/medium-sized ones – should go about developing more sophisticated sales funnels that do not only rely on old-school selling.

Ultimately, a sharp marketing strategy targeting a clear set of objectives through an action plan provides all businesses with the opportunity to raise awareness with their target audience and make the sales processes more manageable and more profitable. We trust you find our research interesting and will also take a look at our outsourced strategic marketing services for SMEs.