For all of us, Covid-19 has upended ‘business as usual’ - we clap for the NHS, talk of PPE and share WFH tips. But what impact is the pandemic having on businesses? In particular, the SMEs that make up 99. 9% of all private sector business in the UK? According to the Advertising Association's Ad Pays 7 report, small and medium sized enterprises grew by 63% in the last two decades; a period of exponential growth that has run parallel to that of digital advertising, with the relatively low cost and ease of digital channels helping smaller businesses to flourish. While this entrepreneurial spirit has led to ingenuity, creativity and innovation, we’re now faced with stark questions: how will SMEs weather the Covid-19 pandemic? And how can the digital ad industry help companies recover in the wake of the outbreak? At IAB UK, we commissioned MTM to conduct a study into SMEs earlier this year surveying 800 businesses, before ‘coronavirus’ entered into our mainstream lexicon and lockdown became the everyday. The study - which seeks to understand the role that digital advertising plays for SMEs and the support that businesses need to maximise results - will be released in June. However, when it became clear that Covid-19 has triggered seismic economic turbulence, we set out to understand how SMEs are dealing with it.
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