Is your SME’s marketing strategy working?

On April 12, 2016

Are you concerned your small business marketing strategy isn't driving growth? Here are some FAQs that may help you get your business on the fast track to success.

What marketing channels are businesses using?

A recent survey of Australian and New Zealand businesses by Deloitte found that the majority of SME transactions (38.9 per cent) occur face-to-face. However, within the next five years, this is expected to decline to below one-third. In fact, Deloitte found digital will likely soon take the lead, as over 50 per cent of SME sales are predicted to involve a digital element by 2021.

Other traditional communication channels are also expected to decline, while online tools, such as email, websites, mobile apps and social media, are all expected to increase.

But many SMEs are proving to be slow to adapt, which may be severely limiting their growth potential.

Over half of SME sales are predicted to involve some form of digital tools within the next five years.

American research firm Clutch found that only 44 per cent of SMEs in the US are utilising digital channels in their marketing strategies. Even so, out of these, 82 per cent of SMEs are under the impression that digital marketing is imperative to business success.

Can an omnichannel strategy enhance your growth?

This shift in customer communication priorities is happening because of the changing nature of the online customer journey. But there is also empirical evidence showing that a diverse marketing strategy making use of multiple channels can radically increase growth.

Deloitte found SMEs that used three or four two-way communication channels to engage customers reported achieving average revenue growth almost five per cent higher than those businesses that were just only using one or two.

Furthermore, the average revenue growth reported by SMEs that are injecting cash into their online services was 5.4 per cent. Whereas those that did not spend in the digital sphere only reported rates of 3.8 per cent.

How big is your marketing budget?
How big is your marketing budget?

Should you be spending more on marketing?

Unlike other business investments, the more you spend on marketing, the more opportunities for customer conversions and engagement you are creating, and therefore, the more opportunities for revenue growth. CEO of digital marketing agency Project Bionic offered a simple guideline to how much your marketing budget should be.

"I recommend that a business put 10 percent of its total revenue toward marketing. And, if they don't, they're holding business back," said Mr Dirks.

"Most small businesses seem to cut their marketing budget first. But, in reality, they should be increasing it."

However, Clutch found that 69 per cent of SMEs dedicate less than US$10,000 per year to marketing. While this may sound like a lot, CEO of social media firm Bad Rhino Marty McDonald explained how, when money is tight, it is easy to think that reducing spend on marketing is logical.

"Most small businesses seem to cut their marketing budget first. But, in reality, they should be increasing it," he told Clutch.

How can you benefit from automation technology?

Deloitte also found that 18 per cent of SMEs expressed that generating new customer leads was the driving factor. An additional 9 per cent suggested that improving awareness was the solution, and 7 per cent believed more in adopting innovative technologies.

By purchasing customer databases and using this information to distribute personalised marketing communications, all of these objectives can be achieved.

Deloitte found marketing automation technologies offer incredible potentials for generating sales from direct marketing. However, only 15 per cent of SMEs actually have the capability to do so. While it is still in its early stages of adoption for smaller organisations, the benefits can be incredible.

Personalised emails don't just have a significantly higher click through rate (29 per cent), they generate six times the sales revenue than emails that are not personalised to the recipient.

If you want to know more about how you can implement a personalised marketing strategy with help from a list broker, contact The Prospect Shop today.

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