Small Firms Risk their Reputation with DIY Marketing

From: BHP Information Solutions Ltd
Published: Thu Aug 06 2009

Cash-strapped small firms are increasingly producing their marketing materials in-house, despite concerns about lack of skills.

A survey of small-business owners commissioned by Serif (Europe) Ltd, a developer of design and creative software, has found that more than half of small firms now design marketing materials in-house to help save money. 

Serif’s survey of 218 small firms found that 56 per cent design some or all of their marketing materials such as brochures and websites themselves, rather than pay a professional designer.
Although most believed they were saving money, the danger is that these firms are putting their reputation at risk — 28 per cent confessed that they lacked the necessary graphic design skills to do the job properly, and 58 per cent thought that the quality of their materials had directly affected the success of their marketing campaign.

"Graphic design is a very complex area," says David Gent, managing director of David Gent Creative and expert contributor to Marketing Donut, the essential new website for small businesses.

"When it comes to design, specialists can often do it quicker and better," says Gent. "Creating logos is more than just finding a nice typeface. A good graphic designer will come up with concepts that can be used across the board, from letterheads to the side of a van or a shop front."

Initial cost savings made by doing it yourself could be a false economy, he adds. "Creating marketing materials can be very time-consuming if it’s not what you are skilled at and it takes business owners away from what they should be doing. It’s probably better for them to focus on the core job."

And, he says, a professional job will often provide a robust design that will last a long time. For those that do have the skills, though, Gent says it may be worth doing it yourself.

Colin Hussey, corporate business manager at Serif, says that those who feel confident enough to do their own designs in-house could benefit from following some simple rules. "Branded letterhead and business cards instantly establish a professional image for a small business or start-up — it’s usually the first thing people see," says Hussey. "So ensure design consistency and clarity and consider adding a slogan to make your marketing materials memorable."

Further information:
Become a Marketing Donut expert by visiting the BHP Information Solutions website
Register for Marketing Donut here
Find out more about David Gent Creative here
Company: BHP Information Solutions Ltd
Contact Name: Mick Dickinson
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 0044 (0)117 904 2224

Visit website »