The changing landscape of SME marketing and why it matters
Through working with both domestic and international SMEs, I have realised that for the majority of my clients (most of which have 20+ employees and are leaders in their fields) that have built an incredible business need assistance when it comes to today’s marketing. The speed at which we communicate now, social media and all, is lost on them and they have feelings of inadequacy, frustration and confusion when it comes to marketing for 2017.
The world we live in today is far different from the world many SMEs began their businesses in. With the evolution of technology, communication has become instantaneous and marketing has become primarily digital. I call this as the era of responsiveness. Many small business owners, who have been in business for 15 or 20 years do not completely understand the platforms we use on a day-to-day basis. They might get it on a personal level but they are unable to turn this around for their business. The swipe, tap and scroll way of communicating is vastly different from the interruption and cold calling era that their businesses evolved in.
In a meeting with one of our clients who owns a business that has been running for over 50 years, the owner expressed a great deal of frustration in regards to lacking an understanding of today’s digital landscape and what to ask for. This company has grown to 100+ employees and millions in revenue, yet has only recently discovered the depth of marketing this year. We understood their frustrations and are presently educating them – this made them feel safer and they now come forward with ideas and concepts. We have been excited to witness their ability to harness the digital tools that are available to them. It’s important to point out this whole process took months.
This topic of discussion is important because, in order to evolve and grow in this landscape, more conversation needs to happen to help SMEs get there. It is our duty as marketers to hold their hands and help them navigate through this era without taking advantage of their ignorance.
The changing landscape of the marketplace is moving fast and that pace will only get faster, it’s more than ever – important to keep up.