Marketing Challenges of Small Business & Medium Enterprises (SME)

by Patrick Zuluaga, PMZ Marketing [Download Article]

First and foremost businesses must recognise that marketing is business development. Effective marketing is all about recognition and complete understanding of your target market and the environment of your potential customers.

There are no silver bullets or secrets for successful marketing. Do not be misled by marketing gurus that promote marketing secrets that can only be gained by attending their pricey workshops and seminars.  Marketing principles are well known and established.  What businesses need to do is achieve better marketing results by using direct response offers to promote and build their business.

In this article we will tackle three of the most difficult small business and medium enterprises marketing challenges, namely:

  • Finding new clients and customers
  • Using engaging marketing messages that generate results
  • Implementing business oriented marketing systems

Finding new clients and customers

The key to successfully using marketing to find new clients and customers is to recognise who your customers are. Let us look at four points to be able to gain this insight into your customers:

  1. Who are your best customers?
  2. What are your target customers buying motivations?
  3. What are their purchasing or buying criteria?
  4. What are their purchasing or buying cycles?

A comprehensive and intimate understanding of the answers to these questions will allow you to develop your ideal customer profiles.  This knowledge allows your business to use appropriate marketing messages that are relevant and powerful. Allowing you to focus your marketing spend on a clearly defined target market for better marketing results.

As you progress your understanding of your potential clients and customers in your target markets, please do not overlook your existing clients and customers.  Yes, it is absolutely vital to grow your business opportunities with new clients and customers. However your own client and customer database is a potential gold mine when you properly segment and communicate with these existing customers.  Increase your business revenue from your own clients and customers by using the Recency-Frequency-Monetary segmenting method and communicating with them using direct response marketing techniques.

Engaging marketing messages that generate results

If you and your business truly want to achieve immediate and quantifiable marketing results then use direct response marketing offers. Do not engage in ‘feel good or hopeful’ marketing using purely branding and image building advertising. Most small business and medium enterprises simple cannot afford the very long-term and sustained expense in branding and image building advertising that only large corporations can truly afford. Small business and medium enterprises must build their brands and market image with effectively and consistent direct response marketing programs.

Businesses achieve engaging marketing messages that drives marketing results when they are familiar with the following factors:

  • Timing of your marketing messages with the buyers purchasing cycle
  • Using emotive language in your marketing messages
  • Providing powerful, compelling and relevant offers
  • Creating a sense of urgency in responding to your offers
  • Encouraging interaction with your ‘call to action'

You will have noticed I used the term “emotive language” in your marketing messages.  This is crucial whether you are in a business to consumer (B2C) or in a business to business (B2B) situation as all your marketing message recipients at least for the foreseeable future are human beings driven by their emotions! In the consumer world their desires strongly influence their needs that drives their decisions to purchase your products and/or services.  In the business world your marketing messages must appeal to both their ‘professional and personal’ desires.

An extremely powerful communications method to use in the preparation of your marketing messages is to apply the AIDA technique. It is an acronym for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action that encourages the use of emotive language with the appropriate marketing communication mediums.

Implementing business oriented marketing systems

As a business owner or manager you will be acutely aware that an efficient and effective business system drives your profitability and allows your organisation to operate the process continually. It is getting your marketing into such a position that is difficult for a variety of reasons. Some of these will be familiar to you:

  • Inability to commit or allocate the time needed to perform
  • Failure to provide adequate financial resources to achieve the effort
  • Too many conflicting priorities and distractions
  • Getting the business model right
  • Developing the correct mix of sales and marketing strategies
  • Recognising the need to test, measure, track and improve
  • Implementing the required IT & communications infrastructure support

These reasons are used by many businesses as justifications for their inability to develop a workable marketing plan and system. Unfortunately the consequence of this attitude is reflected in poor business development results.  Marketing is business development and is achievable for any business serious about growing their business.   Get that experienced and expert marketing advice to help implement your business oriented marketing systems and secure better marketing results now and into the future for your business.

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