The IDM reported this week that, according to a lloyds tsb poll, marketing and advertising are vital to help small and medium-sized businesses weather the storm of the recession.
Hotels, caterers and leisure firms were found to be the most committed to marketing followed by manufacturers and retailers.
That's great news for us working in marketing for sme's but the key issue here (even more so than usual) is getting a good return on investment or 'roi'.
So, how does an sme get the most bang for his or her buck?
For me the best starting place is existing customers... you (should) know who they are, where they are and how best to contact them, so why not start there?
Next, if you've got a happy customer base, who better to start shouting about how great you are than they?
As I'm sure you're already aware, email is cheap as chips these days, while the plethora of social media channels including blogs, facebook, twitter and so on are mostly free (except that is for your time) so there's plenty of easy ways to attract and hang onto customers.
A couple of words to the wise though, have a look around and see what your competitors are doing (remember just 'cos they're not active doesn't mean you don't need to be!), oh and make sure you plan your approach before you hurtle off into the unknown!