SMBs are different. Your content needs to be just for them.
Where do brands go to expand beyond the consumer or enterprise markets? Easy…small and midsize businesses, of course! There are about 29 million of them, depending on who is counting. But not so fast. Some companies find a way to make the transition successfully. For most however, the strategy of taking a consumer or enterprise product or service and adapting it for SMBs is a challenge of epic proportions.
Whether you are new to selling to SMBs or have been doing for years, recycling your approach to consumers or enterprises is not the way to success. At RSL Media, we have been speaking SMB since 2003, so allow us to offer a few insights about how SMBs differ from both enterprises and consumers.
They’re not enterprises:
1. Whereas enterprise buyers often know what product they need and will look at options, SMB buyers are concerned with the burning business issues that affect their day-to-day sales and profitability. Unless you make a connection between your product and their issues (typically with content), you’ll rarely get their attention.
2. SMB buyers are not purchasing professionals. They also don’t have an established buying process like an enterprise company with a procurement department.
3. They don’t always have specialized skill sets to evaluate or implement complex products. This is particularly true with technology products, but also in finance and elsewhere.
4. The smaller the business, the broader the responsibilities of any owner or manager. Every day they must deal with sales, marketing, staffing, operations, A/P and A/R – sometimes all at once.
They’re not consumers:
OK, for very small SMBs, like solopreneurs, there are some similarities with consumers. One-person shops like consultants or freelancers are often not running a business they plan to grow and therefore buy more like consumers. However, most other SMBs are quite different from consumers:
5. An SMB buyer will often see the utility of a product very differently than a consumer. For a consumer, a vehicle might be evaluated by the pleasure or prestige derived. And will almost certainly have a more utilitarian purpose in mind.
6. An SMB buyer might not be the owner, which means they are spending someone else’s money. They will have different considerations than if they were buying for themselves, and their decision process may be more deliberate.
How your content can help
When crafting content specifically for SMBs, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Start with content that addresses the opportunities and challenges the SMB is facing and that offers ideas and solutions that will help them: things they do not know, best practices, examples of what others are doing that are producing results, etc.
- Speaking of results, don’t overlook ROI. An SMB may or may not calculate ROI for a particular purchase, but it’s always in the back of their mind. Even if it can’t be quantified, paint the picture of ROI where you can.
- When you are ready to talk about product, focus on benefits, not features, and tie the benefits back to a problem the SMB is trying to solve.
- Realize that SMBs don’t have much time to make decisions, and get to the point quickly.
If you are marketing to small businesses, you need to understand the SMB mindset and develop compelling, relevant content that addresses what SMBs care about. In short, your content must speak SMB. We can help make this happen. Subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about how to do it, or simply give us a call.