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The Importance of Marketing for SMEs

Andy - April 2, 2019
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Let’s talk about Marketing. If you’re an owner of a SME, you’ve probably asked one of these questions before:

Is marketing for SMES really worth the investment? Can it make a difference to my business?

As an agency who deals, in the main, with companies who don’t have their own marketing department, we get asked these types of questions regularly. And we get it. You’re focused on your business, you’ve built it up and you’ve gained clients. So you’ve done pretty well so far. Plus, it seems like a lot of effort to put in.

But wait.

What if you could do even better? What if you could take your business on to the next level, for a relatively low investment, both in terms of capital and time?

Before we tackle the second question, lets delve into all the fantastic ways in which Marketing can help drive your business forward and provide the catalyst for further growth.

Why is marketing so important for SMEs?

We can sit here and tell you that marketing is super important for SMEs. But we don’t want you to simply take our word for it. So here are just a few reasons to consider, backed by evidence.

Marketing helps lift the invisibility cloak

You need to have an online presence. According to Marketo, 93% of all B2B purchasing decisions are made online. We’re sure you’re aware of the importance of being online, but there’s a difference between being online and being FOUND online.

Its not enough to simply have a website. You need to ensure people can find your website, which is essentially your digital shop window.

Your customers will be searching on Google to find the right solution for them. And with 54.4% of all searchers choosing a link from the top 3 results that come up on Google, ensuring your website ranks well is vital.

This is where a marketing professional comes into play.

An expert in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) will identify the target keywords that your customers are searching for, in relation to the products and services that you offer. The rankings change on a daily basis, so changes and improvements need to be made on your site to ensure you maintain positions in the top 3.

A great Pay-Per-Click (PPC) strategy can also provide you with instant exposure online. Just check out the great results we got for Chiropractor Bramhall thanks to our Digital Marketing for Chiropractors package. Essentially you can ensure, for keywords associated with your company’s products and services, that you are listed at the top of the Google page. Get a proper PPC strategy in place to maximise your budget and ensure those who visit your site have a higher chance of converting into a sale or enquiry.

Marketing helps you shout about how great you are

And guess what? With a strong marketing strategy, potential customers will see the great work you do and want more of the same! Forbes even states that telling consistent, compelling stories is the number one way to build brand awareness.

Posting regular updates about the great work you’ve done on social media platforms and your website will attract the attention of other, similar customers. Think of it like a digital Word of Mouth!

Awareness campaigns within your paid ads strategy can also boost brand awareness and drive your USP home even more. As LinkedIn states:

“Tell more people about your products, services, or organization by selecting the Brand Awareness objective for your ad campaigns.”When you can quite literally show off the amazing work you do, why wouldn’t you? Get creative with it and don’t just rely on one platform to really drive your brand promise home to your audience.

Marketing can directly increase your sales

Done correctly, an effective marketing strategy can ensure you put your brand in front of the right customers, at the right time.

Integrating all of your digital marketing initiatives such as website traffic acquisition, social media marketing efforts, PR, content marketing, email marketing, and on-site conversion tactics will help you drive traffic from the right target audience and convert them into sales and inquiries.

Don’t believe us? Here are some stats:

  • Over 75% of marketers report that their campaigns are directly influencing revenue.
  • 94% of top-performing salespeople believe they receive better leads from marketing and called the marketing leads they receive either “excellent” or “good”.
  • 87% of sales and marketing leaders say collaboration between sales and marketing enables critical business growth.
  • 24% of marketers use paid advertising to impact direct sales.
  • Organizations with a content strategy achieve 27.1% higher win rates and 18.1% higher quota attainment than those without a content strategy.

Speaking to an expert will help you develop and implement an effective marketing strategy, as well as provide you with on-site content and lead-capturing techniques aimed at converting as many visitors to your website as possible.

Marketing helps small business owners compete with larger organisations

For small businesses, competing with larger organisations can be difficult. You may not have the same resources or budget nor do you have an established presence in your industry. However, when it comes to digital marketing, the playing field is much more level.

Using organic social media channels such as Twitter, Meta, and LinkedIn are free advertising outlets for small business owners. Establishing a social media presence on these channels and engaging with potential customers on a regular basis will help you build relationships and trust.

Top tip: to compete with larger enterprises on these channels, it might also be handy to note that video marketing is becoming increasingly popular (See image below) as viewers look to get a more in-depth understanding of what your business has to offer in short, sweet bursts.

By jumping on this marketing trend in particular (which requires only minimal resources) smaller businesses can drive performance and accelerate growth on these channels and start to compete with other players in your industry.

And with the right professional support, you can delve into even wider areas of marketing (namely SEO and PPC) with strategies designed to help smaller organisations grow and keep up with even the biggest of competition.

statisitic from the state of video marketing report produced b wyzowl showing the aversge watch time of vidoes online per week is 19 hours in 2022

The State of Video Marketing in 2023

How to get your SME marketing strategy right

We could talk all day about the importance of marketing for SMEs, but they’re really not all that important if you don’t get them right. But how do you do that? Well…

First things first: find an agency that knows SMEs

It might be tempting to opt for the big agencies that boast infinite specialties and areas of expertise – just as it might be tempting for your customers to opt for the products or services of your larger competitors. But as small business owners yourselves, you know that quality niche services are often found in hidden gems.

We recommend doing your research on marketing agencies that specialise in small-to-medium enterprises – like the team here at Dandy. We’re experienced, to the point, and know how to market SMEs online. So let’s chat!

Understand your channel preferences & goals

Whether you’re struggling to see engagement on your social media posts, or want help with SEO, you should first have a clear understanding of your channel preferences and goals. This will not only make it easier to develop your strategy but also allow you to measure success more accurately.

Once you’ve settled on the channels that suit your SME business best (i.e. social media, email marketing, PPC, etc.), you can establish realistic goals based on the desired level of engagement and what success looks like to you.

It’s also important to remember that your SME marketing strategy should be agile and that it may need adapting as time goes on. As customer preferences change, so should your approach – or else you risk falling behind when competing with larger enterprises.

Audit first, act second

Trust us when we say – you can’t afford to miss the mark with your SME marketing strategy. With limited resources and budgets, every penny counts – so it’s important to get it right!

That’s why we recommend auditing first – and acting second. Take a deep dive into your current marketing performance levels and customer feedback to identify any weak spots in your approach. Analyse the data to better understand what’s working and what isn’t – then tweak accordingly. You can audit your SEO strategy, your PPC campaigns, and any other marketing channels you’re working with.

Once you’ve identified any areas for improvement, you can start to plan out your strategy. This includes anything from creating an editorial calendar (to manage content creation) to setting up a series of email campaigns or running weekly social media competitions – all designed with the intention of helping your SME business grow.

You can also carry out target market research at this stage to better understand who your customer is and what they’re looking for. This could involve careful analysis of competitors, interviews with customers, surveys, or anything that helps you get inside the minds of potential buyers.

What are you waiting for? Grab a free, no-obligation SEO audit or PPC audit from Dandy today!

Start with the low-hanging fruit

Whether it’s technical fixes to your website, low-competition keywords in Google Ads, or just better managing existing customer data – start with the low-hanging fruit.

To begin with, focus on what you can do to make small and achievable changes that are likely to have a positive effect on your bottom line. This will help you build momentum and confidence in your marketing efforts as well as give you a platform for bigger changes down the line.

It’s also important to remember that while you may not see immediate results, it can take time for an effective SME marketing strategy to come together. As long as you stay consistent and patient in your approach, you will eventually reap the rewards!

Keep an open mind (Seriously!)

The SME marketing landscape is always changing and evolving. What worked even a year ago may no longer apply – so it’s important to keep an open mind when developing your strategy.

Don’t be afraid to take risks, experiment with new channels and technologies, or try something completely different – you never know what might work! Just be sure to measure your progress and analyse the results so you can gain valuable insights into what works (and what doesn’t) for your SME business.

By staying ahead of the game, you’ll be in a better position to make informed decisions about how to best market your business – and ultimately drive growth.

Closing thoughts

All sounds great, right? But you’re way too busy to even think about carrying out these activities yourself and using a big agency to take care of it is far too expensive.

We hear you. And we hear thousands of other SMEs in exactly the same position.

This is why you should look into a flexible marketing consultancy to take care of your marketing. One that doesn’t tie you into contracts and provides you with straight-talking marketing solutions. Solutions that are tailored to you.

And guess what – it’s not as expensive as you think.

Because you’re using a consultant either on set hours per month or as and when you need them, rather than paying for someone full-time, you’ll be able to achieve fantastic results at a fraction of the cost of hiring just one marketing professional full-time. Plus, you don’t have any of the additional personnel costs associated with hiring someone internally.

In fact, on average you’ll pay about a third of the price of hiring someone. Plus, with a consultancy, you’ll have access to a whole team of marketing experts.

So, this takes us back to the original questions. Yes, marketing really is worth the (relatively small) investment. And yes, marketing really can make a huge difference to your business.

Marketing For SMEs FAQs

What is marketing for SMEs?

Marketing for SMEs is the process of using marketing strategies and tactics to promote products and services offered by a small or medium-sized business. It involves creating content, campaigns, promotions, and other activities to increase brand awareness and drive sales.

How do I advertise for SMEs?

There are many ways to advertise for SMEs. You can use traditional channels such as radio, television, and print media, or, more effectively, digital platforms such as social media ads, search engine advertising (Google Ads), and email marketing. Depending on your budget and the goals of your campaign, you can decide which platform is most suitable for you.

Why is marketing important for SMEs?

Marketing is important for SMEs as it helps to drive growth and revenue. It also provides an opportunity to build relationships with customers, create a unique brand identity, and gain insights into your target market. Without marketing, it can be difficult for small businesses to compete in today’s crowded marketplace.