While running an SME is rewarding, it is also challenging and hard work, and small business owners need to be prepared and willing to do what it takes to ensure their business survives often volatile and highly competitive territory. Marketing is one element that is often overlooked by many small business owners, primarily due to the expense and time effective marketing strategies demand.
If you have embarked on a digital marketing strategy and your business is not reaping the business-enhancing rewards proficient digital marketing affords, you could be, like thousands of other SMEs, failing to get your digital marketing strategy right.
Getting a customer is the highest possible results of a digital marketing strategy, or of any sort of marketing for that reason. Everyone is after this particular outcome, regardless of the size of the business.
Giant companies & brands deploy larger marketing agencies and professionals in their team for “a sell”, and even a small startup guy tries to do his own marketing stuffs to get “a sell”. Both have different set of resources but the same goal.When a small business tries replicating strategy of a giant business without appropriate budget & other resources, it fails. Small businesses should try things that work for small businesses. Small business’s marketing strategy… Click To Tweet
In a 2019 SEMRush hosted discussion over the state of digital marketing in India, one of the marketing expert highlighted the reason behind suboptimal marketing results in India is because advertisers do read about the latest innovations & strategic advancements in Industry, but keep doing the same old thing.
Let’s see what else contributes to amplify the problem.
- Marketing needs money
A better version of this statement is that marketing at different stages needs a different set of resources and different strategic approaches. The reason behind suboptimal marketing results in India is because advertisers do read about the latest innovations & strategic advancements in Industry, but keep doing the same old thing.
- Uninformed attitude
Uninformed decisions are bad decisions based on limited information or bias. Running a full time business is exhausting and leaves you with bandwidth to explore new technology evolutions in marketing.
Never let your limited information play against you. Ask for help.
- Recency Effect
The recency effect is when your decisions are highly influenced by your fears and experiences from past decisions. This is one of the most dangerous growth hindering effects on humans because to growth you need to see things from a fresh perspective. You need to see the positive possibilities and not the negative ones. You need to embrace uncertainty, and move on.
- What works for them won’t work for you
Another mistake small businesses make is they try to copy a successful campaign of a giant brand, and then fail. For example, when you see a successful social media campaign of a giant company, which launched a YouTube Video Commercial, run hashtag campaign around it, offered free gifts worth lacs of rupees, and have engaged well-paid celebrities & social media influencers to talk about it on Instagram & Facebook.
Point to consider before copying is that same set of consumers will have a different mindset when dealing with a large brand’s campaign, then the campaign of your small business. Even as a tiny factor as the size of the reward, from a customer’s eyes, can actually play a huge difference.
You may want to engage the social media influencers, but these influencers are aware that people consider them as influencers, and are willing to pay. So when they might have actively helped a giant brand by talking about it enthusiastically on their page, they may not be interested in talking about your product if you aren’t paying. Even if an influencer has recently talked about a large market leader brand, he would prefer to avoid any small time product because it devalues his brand equity.
Everyone’s on self-interest.
- Progressive Strategy
Lifting the 25 kg dumbells on your first day of gym won’t get you biceps, but lifting the right weight according to your condition, capacity and circumstances surely will.
That’s the progressive strategy. Identify the most realistic numbers that you want to achieve and design a totally customized plan for your business. Sometimes an effective marketing strategy is just doing one thing first and doing it right. Not every business needs 10 channels to build an effective ROI. Each and every business can go digital if you plan it mindfully, tactically and realistically. Not every business needs to go to Facebook.
- False sense of ROI
At the scale of startups and small businesses, ROI is the least understood term. It is better to measure ROI in two phases — Macro and Micro.
Sales orders, customers come under Macro ROI of a digital campaign. Direct website visitors, email subscribers, blog readership, social media audience size, social media engagement, onsite content engagement metrics come under Micro ROI.
Strong macros come from strong micros. This simple realization will give you many reasons to analyze why digital marketing isn’t working for your business. If you are planning a Facebook ad campaign for mailing list subscribers acquisition, there’s no point of judging it for any different outcome.
If you don’t allow your marketing team to experiment, to be vulnerable to test new ideas, or you don’t have the risk bandwidth, your progress will be slower than your expectations. And there is no way out. No one can help.
- Breaking the conversion chain
A sale comes from the Awareness > Engagement > Try >Buy > Recommend > Repeat Buy chain. If you break this order, expect no good results. Many small businesses refrain from awareness building digital marketing campaigns, considering it a waste of marketing money.
You wouldn’t buy from a brand you don’t know or trust. But you expect your customers to do exactly that. Why?
Brand awareness building doesn’t mean wasting money. It means building your brand within your means, in your own way.
If you plan for progressive growth, design your marketing goals in stages, and don’t copy what big brands are doing, you can build much better branding results for your small business. It’s time tested advice.