Earlier this month, RSL Media sponsored the CEB Small Business Summit, an event that I have been attending off and on for about 7 years. The Summit, which is attended by marketing professionals from enterprise companies, featured many presentations on understanding business owners as well as the people who influence them. Here are some highlights:
- Business owners are inert: Only 32 percent will switch providers during their lifetime and 93 percent don’t switch providers in a given year.
- 89 percent of first-time sales interactions are owner initiated.
Our take: What are you doing to ensure that your company is the first one they think of when they are ready to switch? Hint: it needs to be more than buying expensive PPC ads.
- 66 percent of owners find their existing supplier communications are unhelpful in teaching them how to get the most out of their products and services.
Our take: As we have heard from clients, this is a big challenge. For SMBs, we have found that showing them how other companies use product features is typically among the more effective ways to do this.
- 37 percent of business owners who are involved in online communities are most interested in marketing as a topic.
Our take: No surprise here. We have found that smaller SMBs (under 25 employees) find sales and marketing content topics to be the most interesting since increasing revenue is usually what is most on their mind. The challenge for brands is how to differentiate your content marketing programs from everything else that is out there.
- What is the top category of influencers for SMBs when it comes to vendor decisions? Other business owners, which beat out CPAs by a 2:1 margin.
Our take: This is good news for most brands, because the content you create for your end user is helping with your efforts to influence the influencer. In case you needed another reason to ensure that your content is great and not just “good enough”, here it is.
The 2016 Summit is in New Orleans next year. Will we see you there?
Want to be a better content marketer and get results? Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter for more insights into how you can accelerate your SMB buyer’s journey.