To help us achieve this objective, we created a new Demand Development Unit (DDU) in autumn 2018.
The DDU aims to help stimulate demand for smaller business finance by engaging directly with smaller businesses, and encompasses Digital and Direct Marketing, Brand, Events, Partner marketing, and the UK Network (UKN). It is headed by our first Chief Marketing Officer, appointed in early 2019/20.
We group our interventions under this objective under four stages of a process aimed at driving demand for finance amongst UK smaller businesses:
- Awareness – building awareness of the Bank as a provider of trusted information on finance options
- Consideration – becoming the information provider of choice for UK smaller businesses
- Usage – ensuring the content we provide is easy to find and understand
- Outcomes – seeing changes in how smaller businesses seek and use finance.
In 2018, smaller businesses became increasingly aware of the British Business Bank, with prompted awareness amongst businesses that might seek finance growing from 13% at the end of 2017/18 to 28% at the end of 2018/19.
There are a number of measures which contributed to this growing awareness, including marketing campaigns, a new UKN and a programme of events.
We ran three major social media campaigns in 2018/19 – #GoodtoGrow, #RejectRejection and #SmallBizWonders – to champion and celebrate smaller businesses, while driving traffic to our information products. These campaigns used mechanisms and channels such as Facebook live, Twitter chats and sponsorship of Small Business Advice Week.
#GoodtoGrow was particularly successful, driving a 479% uplift in social traffic referrals to the Finance Hub.
2018/19 also saw the first British Business Bank-branded paid campaign, with social media and paid search helping to support the launch of its new Finance Hub. The paid campaign drove more than 200,000 site visits and over 2,750 Finance Finder Tool completions, with advertising views of more than 80m. We also continued to support the Start Up Loans programme with paid campaigns, driving over 200,000 site visits through a mix of paid search, paid social display advertising.