Owning your own small or medium-sized business can be rewarding, exciting and frustrating. There’s so much to do every day and so many areas of your business that require your attention and input. As a small business ourselves, we understand that!
One of the key aspects of running a business that many business owners overlook or don’t have the time to focus on as they would like is marketing. And yet it is vital to your business’ success and growth because the truth is that no matter how fantastic your product or services, if the world doesn’t know your business exists, it wouldn’t succeed. Marketing an SME also comes with a number of unique challenges, including a constricted budget, lack of resources and limited expertise.
Three challenges that come with marketing an SME
Understanding marketing today
Marketing is a wide-ranging and ever-evolving industry. With the rise in digital marketing and content-focused campaigns, there are more options than ever for ways to market your business and investigating them all can be confusing, time-consuming and costly. If you are going to make the most of what’s out there in terms of marketing strategies and tools, you need to understand your target audience, develop content that meets their needs and share it in a way that will attract repeat customers to your door (or, in today’s online world, we should probably say website). Our advice? Avoid just going for trendy for trendy’s sake. Everyone you know seems to use Instagram for business but does it work for your business, for example? In order to get the best results from your marketing initiatives, you need to know where to focus and how to use what you’ve got.
Know your budget and make the most of it
Many SMEs don’t have the big budgets and resources that large organisations have and that means there’s simply less to put towards getting your message out there. The good news? Digital marketing. This online space has opened up marketing possibilities of the best kind (we know because we’re the experts when it comes to digital marketing). Online content campaigns, for example, are cost-effective, as wide-ranging or as focused as you want them to be and trackable – all excellent elements that make for a successful marketing strategy. Know and understand the value of marketing your business in the right ways and you will not only be able to justify the necessary expenses but also see the results of investing wisely in marketing tools that make sense for your SME. And get expert help to put in place a considered marketing strategy with a clear way forward and desired end result – that way, you’ll make the most of your money and save previous time and energy.
Standing out from the crowd
Often due to a lack of funding to hire expert help or no time to think about what their business stands for, many SMEs don’t have distinctive brand or USP (unique selling point). Rather than making a statement, these business owners look to other businesses (often their competitors) for clues to how they should “look”, present themselves to their customers or market their services. This indicates a lack of a focused and solid marketing strategy and it’s a concern. As a business owner, you need to make sure that your team and your customers know why your customers should be buying from your business as opposed to someone else’s. You need to be clear on your brand and ensure that all branding elements align and are consistently sending the same message. Across any visual elements and communications, brand consistency is crucial to building awareness and encouraging brand loyalty. Again, this can be difficult to achieve without help from those in the know – work with a marketing agency that understands how to develop and leverage your brand for maximise impact across various platforms and who can help you understand why that matters (by the way - that’s us!).
Marketing can be a challenging undertaking for SME owners who are already stretched to capacity when it comes to serving the needs of their business, employees and customers. Let us help – as digital marketing experts with a wide range of SME clients, we understand the marketing challenges that business owners face and have the expertise and experience to deliver the solutions your business needs.