Marketing for SMEs 101
In the last few years I have noticed a common denominator with the advertising and sales strategy of large companies; In my opinion, most of them are crap, they’ve become invasive and they believe that more is better.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject, nor do I want to say that ALL big companies do bad marketing, but in countries like Mexico things are going from bad to worse.
You might be wondering what does this have to do with SMEs, how does it affect or benefit me? As a SME owner it’s easier to put yourself in the place of the consumer (something that large companies don’t do anymore), I imagine that just like me, you also hate invasive, poorly done and low-quality advertising.
As an owner you can better understand your business, you know what you sell or offer and you know your customers and their needs.
Don’t go Directly to SPAM
You know how annoying it’s to receive junk emails, how you feel lazy reading an email with more than 1 paragraph and you hate that they offer you things that don’t even make sense to you.
So, why copy and do the same thing as everyone else? Don’t buy mailing lists, instead create your own list with current clients and update it with prospects that are qualified by you. Let them know that what you offer has value and meaning for them.
Your email should be personalized, it is not enough just to put the name of the person, but also the reason. The client isn’t interested in knowing who you are, what they want to know is what you can do for them (Don’t promise something you can’t do).
Take the time to write, read, reread and share the mail with others before sending it. Writing a good email takes time, several versions and modifying on the fly.
Educate and Share Knowledge
How many times have you received a newsletter that you did not sign up for? Worst of all is that the "newsletter" is more like an email that looks like a supermarket brochure with the week’s harvest.
If you send newsletters make sure they have good content and real non-monetary benefits. If you don’t know what these benefits might be, these are some ideas that you could add to your newsletter (Articles relevant to what you do with tips, coupons or special discounts, original and useful content for your clients, cases of use and/or actual success)
Your newsletter has to look professional and be well designed. Do not over fill it with information. Send it once a month or at the most every 2 weeks (there are different theories about frequency), I think they should be sent once a month.
Another very useful tool is the creation of video tutorials. These videos can be combined with your newsletter.
If you produce interesting and useful content, it can also be used on other channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc ...
Calls that are Actually Useful
What do you think of the famous "cold calling"? Calling a perfect stranger and trying to sell them something over the phone. My respects for those who are good at this technique and especially those not ending depressed after a long day of rejections.
I think that now a days speaking on the telephone should be used as a tool to follow upon conversations once there is already some kind of relationship with the client. Alerting or notifying the customer that you are thinking of making the call could help.