BT launches digital marketing hub at ‘pivotal time for small businesses’

BT has launched a digital advertising platform and assembled a team of experts to offer businesses help running digital marketing campaigns.

BT’s Digital Marketing Hub enables businesses to create their own ads, and run and track multi-channel marketing campaigns from a single platform.

Created from the feedback of over 1,500 businesses, the platform has been designed to help businesses who lack the time or resources to manage digital campaigns.

As part of the pay-as-you-go service fee, BT can provide consultancy via a team of digital advertising experts ranging from set-up support to total outsourcing of a digital strategy.

For tracking a campaign, analytics feed into a single dashboard and artificial intelligence (AI) software generates recommendations for keywords, copy and budgets.

BT set up the service off the back of commissioned research with Small Business Britain, which revealed 74% of small firms increased their use of social media during the pandemic, but that was at odds with IPA data that 2.4m (40%) SMEs still aren’t using paid social media advertising.

According to BT: “This lack of adoption risks holding a significant proportion of the UK’s small firms back from growth as the economy looks to recover from Covid.”

“This is a pivotal time for small businesses across the country after a really tough couple of years,” said Chris Sims, BT’s managing director for its small office, home office unit. “They can reach a much bigger audience by using the power of digital advertising, but many lack the time, money and confidence to do this effectively.”

BT will be releasing new features in a phased approach, with AI optimization and e-commerce functionality planned in the coming months.

Director and co-founder of drama workshop Stag-ed Mike Sothern, who was involved in the testing of the hub, said: “It opened my eyes to new areas we can advertise in. Our campaign has turned inquiries into conversions and that, for us, is gold dust.”