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Challenges in the SME marketing, what can a marketer do?


Industrial marketing is the branch of communications and sales that specializes in providing goods and services to other businesses, rather than to individual customers. When businesses sell industrial products or services to another, this practice is called industrial marketing. This industrial product or service could be anything that helps produce an end product from raw materials. As compared to business processes occurring between a business or a private customer, the process involved in industrial marketing is more complex. The presence of large orders and long-term relationships between the producer and client, is what makes the process from first pitch to the close of sale more complex.


Most marketers in this area, set a budget on what has worked in their favour in the past, and at the same time, build strategies on how they can receive the best ROI (return on investment). There aren’t any facts needed, to display that every area of business has been working hard, to establish their business at the level, where it was during pre-covid times, or in another case, achieving a goal better than before. In these trying times, it is important for industrial marketers, especially SMEs to focus on improving their ROI. The following trends will prove to be big in the coming years, and in order for industrial marketers to stay on top, it will be important for them to embrace it.

  • Today’s generation is driven by technology. Social media platforms such as Facebook, accounts for more than 2 billion monthly users. Even the industrial marketer is surfing and watching more and more things online. It is the correct time for them to move towards technology, rather than focusing on just printed brochures. Use of web tools can help them in making videos and products, to target their customer. SMEs can also focus on recording interviews, demo of products and other presentation videos. Industrial experts can also make videos to promote their trade shows and events, and can also put-up actual recordings of their past events. Marketers can also promote their videos through social media, blogs or emails.

  • Presence of relevant content can help industrial buyers to make decisions. For B2B marketers, it will become important to consider posting those valuable content which would ease their buyers’ purchase decisions. Making process easy for customer helps in creating a better relationship and also boost sales. Current times call for marketers to look at their available content critically and make changes which are suitable as per their customer’s needs. They can even focus on creating an ROI- based model, which would provide with a clear picture of their offerings. In such model, marketers can also use case studies. It will help the customers to understand in bringing out differences between various business models, and as a result choose the best for them. As content is king, a smart marketer would use it in such a way that they can use it across media, such as a whitepaper in a webinar, a video for website, or as a presentation to a client for a conference.

  • Internet has become pervasive, every type of B2B buyer has access to various marketing channel. As a marketer, it is important for them to distinguish between each channel and choose the apt channel which can help them connect with the right audience. Earlier SEO, paid search results, social media blogs, were the forms to reach the audience, but the trying times of covid has made online events and webinars a trend. The prime reason for this is, these virtual tradeshows are more interactive in nature. Live chats, virtual booths, panel discussions, expert talks, makes it interesting for customers all by sitting in their own offices or home space. Online events and webinars are not only time-saving, but their costs are pretty decent too.

  • B2B marketers still haven’t used social media to its full potential. While developed countries like the United States have been embracing social media in their B2B sector, India’s industrial sector has been slow to catch up. Before embarking on spending in social media, marketers need to analyse their target audiences’ use of the media. Based on that analysis, they need to work out on their social media strategy. Strategies should be made in such a way, that it becomes a part of the overall marketing plan, and not replace the existing programmes. Using a trial-and-error method for choosing the media strategy can also prove to be beneficial for marketers. They can divide their overall budget between traditional media and new age media. Appointing a person responsible for managing and measuring social media ROI is an effective way in learning about the customer’s movement and learning about the existing strategies.

  • In India, attempts to measure the returns from marketing spends is feeble. ROI analysis is not given importance even in large companies. It is isolated to specific campaigns rather than overall marketing. If this continues, marketing executives will have to deal with immense pressure in the coming years, to demonstrate ROI. It is hence important for B2B marketers to determine a marketing programme, while laying out all the objectives and measures of the programme, and communicate the same with all their executives, to make it a success.

 

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