Essential Marketing Tips For Successful SMEs

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August 1, 2017

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Your vision for a successful SME cannot be realized without a coordinated marketing strategy. For every small business, this ‘grand vision’ will be different. But no matter how ambitious your company’s aims are, keeping your vision in mind will ensure that your marketing messages align with these ultimate goals. Here are some tips for SMEs looking to make a success of their marketing efforts.

Know Your Customers

Audience research should be tackled first and foremost when it comes to building a consistent brand message that resonates with your customers.

Remember, your target demographics could change over time. So this is by no means an exercise you conduct once and then refer to over and over again. You should consider the finer details with every new marketing campaign, product launch or regulation change. Or at the very least, make sure you review your audience research once a year.

There are two kinds of audience marketing research: primary and secondary. In the first instance, for your primary research, you will need to formulate a set of questions. You will need to find out things like:

  • What age are your customers?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • How much will people realistically pay for your product or service?
  • What types of media and products do your customers consume the most?
  • What social media sites are most popular for your industry?
  • What leading ecommerce marketplaces do your customers commonly buy from?

You can use a range of methods to find the answers to these questions. You may want to try customer focus groups, online surveys, or you can simply ask your regular customers for some feedback the next time they make a purchase.

Secondary research looks at big data sets to build a profile of your typical customer. Set up Google Analytics to examine your website traffic, or alternatively look at subscription-based audience analytics programs.

You could even choose to outsource this process to a marketing research team. However, if you decide to outsource, make sure you do background research of your own to ensure that you’re happy with the results and service you’re paying for.

Segment Your Audience

Once you have found out more about your customers, you will then want to split your audience into different segments. This will help you target marketing materials to suit your customers’ tastes and media consumption habits. For instance, if the vast majority of your female audience is on Instagram, and males tend to flock around Twitter, you would need to run different types of campaigns to incentivize these differing groups. Segmentation is central to successful email marketing and retargeting — both central to successful SME marketing.

Automate, Automate, Automate

For any business, saving time wherever possible will give you more energy to concentrate on the more profitable aspects of running a business. Using the best CRM tools will keep everyone in your company ‘on the same page’ when they communicate with your clients and customers. Sync your data across cloud apps seamlessly, so your team only needs to enter a person’s contact details once. This will also dramatically reduce the amount of manual error in communications.

Get A Hold On Your Reporting

With any marketing output, you will need to track its success and make changes (if needed) to ensure your messages stay effective.

A/B split testing things like different headlines and photo combinations will quickly help you decipher your audience’s ad preferences. Further, you can set up reporting tools on your CRM system to track this response data automatically.

Check out this previous post on 5 CRM Reports that Will Help You Tame The Big Data Beast. With PieSync’s tools, you can set up lead status reports, high-value customer lists and sales cycles reports, all from one centralized system.

Stay Flexible

In marketing your small business, think about how you can encourage more sales from your company’s website. Consider the user experience (UX) of your site and what ‘tricks of the trade’ you can use to convince more visitors to turn into paying customers.

Depending on the site-building service you opt for, you can get expert tutorials and support that will show you how to make your own online store in a matter of hours. Sometimes leaning on expert tech is a great way to cut corners and get to market faster.

With a certified website, you can also access app plugins that allow you create customized email pop ups, or sync your site with your mailing list, to offer your customers special deals whenever they abandon their baskets before checkout.

Don’t Forget About Offline Marketing

In doing everything you can to attract more attention online, you should also ensure that you explore your offline marketing options to help spread the word in your industry and further afield.

Trade shows are a fantastic way to get noticed as a brand. Many exhibitions have pamphlets, programs and PR activities you can get involved in during the show. Exhibitions also allow business owners to collect customer details and product feedback. It’s also worth getting in touch with influential bloggers, investors, and major distributors who may also be in attendance.

Getting a grip on your small business marketing hinges on your ability to understand and respond to your customers’ needs. With a centralized CRM system, you can collect and analyze large samples of customer information and build a detailed picture of your key audience demographics.

About Victoria Greene

Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and ecommerce specialist. She runs her own blog at VictoriaEcommerce and enjoys sharing tips on marketing with small business owners.