Channels that attract more small to medium-sized business prospects
To offset slowing growth in “big business” segments, many companies are focusing on penetrating small to medium-sized (SMB) business markets. But meeting that goal requires a change in campaign strategy.
Why? Because SMBs engage with marketing channels differently than larger businesses, revealed a recent Bredin Business Information study.
What the research says
Due to budget restraints, there’s a shift to increase online marketing efforts at the expense of traditional, offline channels.
But those following that trend risk underutilizing channels SMB buyers prefer. When asked to rank the channels most valuable to them, SMB decision-makers said:
- Direct mail was the top channel for companies with 20 or fewer employees
- Trade shows and news articles were the top channels for companies with 21-100 employees
- Print newsletters were the top channel for companies with 101-500 employees
Why are traditional channels so popular? SMB buyers have less time to pour over online content, like social media.
What marketers can do
Three insights from the study to help plan future campaigns:
- Target major challenges. When asked to rank their top business challenges, SMB decision-makers said:
• Managing costs was the top concern for businesses with 21-500 employees
• Finding new customers was the top challenge for businesses with 20 or fewer employees
- Think value first, price second. Most small companies rated high value as the most important factor in buying decisions. The biggest companies surveyed felt price was the most critical factor.
- Offer something special. When asked what they’re looking for from suppliers, decision-makers said:
• Special deals was No. 1 for those with fewer than 20 employees
• Service/support tied with special deals for those with 21-500 employees
Reprinted with permission from The Marketing Report, 370 Technology Drive, Malvern, PA 19355, 800-220-5000.