Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/07/02/ms_disses_small_biz_marketing/

MS disses small.biz marketing efforts

Offers advice

By Startups.co.uk

Posted in Small Biz, 2nd July 2003 11:43 GMT

The vast majority of marketing material produced by small firms is not up to scratch, according to Microsoft.

Recent research has shown more than a third of UK small businesses’ marketing budget is spent on the production of leaflets and brochures – making this the most popular form of promotion.

However Microsoft has claimed 87 per cent of companies who produced these materials in-house were doing so without the aid of specialist publishing software, and could be compromising the quality of their work.

The company said, with more than 80 per cent of small businesses marketing themselves using printed materials, the importance of creating a greater image had never been greater.

Graham Clark, from print and design specialists Jupiter Associates, said poor quality promotional material was worse than having no material at all.

“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression,” he added.

Microsoft went on to say many smaller companies did not have the time or money to employ a design agency so they made do with insufficient programs from existing software.

However Katie Jordan, product manager for Microsoft, said using the wrong tools for the job could lead to a sub-standard result which could hinder the brand rather than support it.

"Business don’t have to break the bank to produce sharp, high quality material to present a professional image," she said.

To help small firms get the most out of their promotional material Microsoft offers these tips.

Microsoft has produced a series of marketing guides for small businesses at BCentral.

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