One of the most critical elements of small business marketing is leveraging the business size to your benefit. The term “small business” isn’t something to be ashamed of. While the company won’t remain small forever, for the time being, the business’s size can work in its favour. To truly capitalize on a company’s size while still being able to compete with larger competitors requires a business tap into technology. Small Business Computing mentions that as many as 42% of SMEs fail to take advantage of technology fully. Leveraging technology is where the power in marketing lies for a small business.
There are myriad reasons why technology can help small businesses be more competitive. Well-implemented technology can make a small business appear larger than it is to consumers. By increasing the core elements of a company’s performance, technology makes it possible for smaller companies to operate at a significantly higher level than they would without the technology. However, it does require the business to look at ways to implement technology practically to impact the company’s operation. To aid small businesses in their search for practical marketing tactics, we’ll cover a few that leverage technology to help small enterprises to gain and keep the edge against their competition.
In the early days of marketing, a company might have been able to get by with closing a sale and then moving onto the next customer. Today, we’re more aware of how vital repeat customers are to a company’s success. Small businesses have a considerable advantage when using technology to engage their customers, but only if they can successfully manage user data. As a company’s customer base grows, being able to understand the business’s target demographic and deal with feedback efficiently becomes a significant concern.
Customer management software can help a company connect with its consumer base. It’s not just about managing the data that stems from these customers, however. It’s about dealing with the business’s long-term relationship with these buyers. Modern CRM software can integrate seamlessly with email marketing campaign management and sales software to keep customer details up to date. This data can provide the basis for future marketing thrusts that the company can use to introduce a new product.
One of the most significant problems that online sellers have is cart abandonment. Inc. mentions that 67% of online shoppers abandon their carts. While users might decide to quit out of an online transaction for several reasons, it helps if a business makes life easier for their consumers. Between searching for items, adding them to a cart, checking the price, and paying for the products, users lose their zeal somewhere and decide to click away.
In the case of B2B buyers, abandoned carts could come up to quite a significant impact. Implementing a Punchout Catalog could be a practical method to help your buyers finish their purchase. Instead of forcing the consumer to leave their procurement software to enter an eCommerce site, a Punchout Catalog is dedicated to a particular industry, limits the selection to relevant products, and utilizes the safety and security of the business’s own procurement suite. Technology like this eases the difficulty curve and makes it more attractive for a buyer to finish their transaction.
As stated earlier, email marketing can help a company form solid relationships with its customers. With the modern methods of marketing where advertisers continuously bombard users with impersonal ads, consumers will likely get tired of these indirect methods. Emails are a more direct form of marketing. A business can add a personal touch to each email to appeal to a particular individual. It doesn’t matter that you’ve never met that user face-to-face. Email allows for a highly customized method of connecting with a buyer.
Newsletters are among the most common ways for small businesses to leverage email marketing to their benefit. By crafting a weekly email that covers the company’s developments and what it plans to do, it keeps users in the loop and makes them feel part of a privileged audience. Combined with sophisticated methods of managing email lists, these newsletters can provide a significant boost to the relationship between company and customer.
A lot of small businesses think that using data analysis is something left to companies with more resources to dedicate to the enterprise. However, in recent years, tech has made it affordable in both time and money to invest in data analytics. Analytics provides valuable insight into a company’s current growth and development as well as the unconscious decisions that its customers make when interacting with the business. Over the length of the relationship with the customer, the business can discern valuable information to make it easier to connect with the consumer.
Data analytics isn’t only about figuring out what your consumers do. The most important part of the process is understanding why they do it. Skilled data analysts can pore through data (or write code that does it for them) and create actionable snippets to help a business spot consumer trends before they occur. Given this predictive ability, the business can position itself to take advantage of the trend before it picks up steam. It doesn’t require a fancy mainframe computer or specialized processing software either. A single analyst with a PC that can code in R is all that a small business needs to start its data analytics department.
Ever since the technology boom happened with the advent of the internet in the early ’90s, small businesses have been some of the enterprises that benefitted the most from the burgeoning growth. Tech has made the world of business into a place where anyone who has a connection and the related software can compete. While the smaller companies still lack the breadth of resources that large firms have, tech has allowed those small companies to develop marketing campaigns on par with national brands. Technology is essential to a small business achieving its marketing goals. Knowing that there are ways to help a company meet and surpass its competition can help to inspire small businesses to use tech to their benefit.