Mail technology company, Pitney Bowes, has discovered UK-based small businesses are managing to roll out just 39% of their planned marketing activity, resulting in more than £122 billion in shunned sales.

The research, released to support the launch of digital marketing suite, pbSmart Essentials, is somewhat contradictory. Even with all the lost revenue, 87% of SMEs acknowledge that marketing does have a positive impact on their sales.

What’s preventing these firms from realising their marketing goals? The answer is that 21% of the SME owners cited time and 36% believed money was a hindrance for their long-term advertising strategy.

Poor Prioritisation

Pitney Bowes’ findings disclose how prioritisation doesn’t seem to be a strength of SME owners. Bizarrely, the task of buying stationery (35%) is deemed more important than marketing (32%).

Businesses were asked to forecast what would occur if they did increase marketing activity. The average of all their responses amounted to a 9.2% uplift on 2011 prices.

SMEs currently indulge in an average marketing outlay of £23,810 each year. Mobile is a big part of the respondents’ plans with 49% saying they’ve already factored it into the annual spend.

Mobile Lacking

However, only 8% have a mobile-optimised website and only a small volume of those polled (10%) were looking to invest in the space this year. Even fewer (7%) are eyeing mobile payment as an area for investment.

Ryan Higginson, vice president of digital channel Europe at Pitney Bowes, emphasised the need to capitalise on untapped sales opportunities, which likely include marketing and mobile.

“There is a great opportunity for savvy SMEs to grab a slice of the £122 billion, but to do so they must look for ways to embrace every sales opportunity and maximise profit,” he said.