7 SME Marketing Truths You May Not Know

1.      SME Marketing can be lonely.  

Especially if you’re at the smaller end of the scale.  I work with starts ups right through to businesses with annual revenue of £25m and it’s not unusual for there to be only one marketer in post.  Particularly in B2B businesses.

2.     SMEs aren’t always great at Market Orientation.  

In other words – seeing the world through the eyes of their customers.  Many SMEs start from their own capability and develop products and services from there.  But the true power lies in really understanding what a customer wants and developing a strategy that delivers it.

3.     Marketers within SMEs usually must deal with a HiPPO.

HiPPO stands for the ‘Highest Paid Person’s Opinion’ and often in a smaller business, the culture is to go with what the founder or most senior person in the room wants to do or thinks is right, rather than doing the due diligence through research and insight.

4.     SMEs need to get better at A/B testing.  

Whether it’s on the website, a facebook campaign or a telemarketing initiative, there’s not enough A/B testing going on.  If you’re the founder or leader in an SME, create an experimental culture to improve your conversion rate rather than being a HiPPO (See point 3)

5.     They talk about Marketing & Communications interchangeably.  

Marketing is a wide-ranging commercial discipline that should cover research, insight, product development, pricing and communications planning and delivery.  Communications is just one small part of the discipline.  Marketing doesn’t start and end with advertising.

6.     Talking of communications – SMEs often buy their own media!

I’ve worked with SMEs who are spending upwards of £500k on media such as facebook ads or press.  And they’re buying this media themselves rather than consulting a media buying expert.  This is madness!  For the best thinking and strategic planning use a media buyer / media agency.  They will get you the best value for money and provide opportunities you’ve never even thought of.

7.     Sales and Marketing activation is often poor. 

The two disciplines should be working together harmoniously to deliver business growth.  If your marketers can’t quote yesterday’s sales numbers and don’t have a good understanding of which sales person or channel is performing best, there’s something wrong.

If you work for an SME, does this list ring true?

What would you add to it?