Is your company helping or hurting?
Disruption is the new normal for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). SMBs that adapt to market changes will continue to grow and have solid margins, while those that don’t will fight to survive. Here are 5 currents that are tugging at SMBs in today’s turbulent environment. As you read through these, ask yourself, “How does your B2SMB company help or hurt SMBs as they deal with disruption?”
Automation is now within the budget of every SMB. From automated bookkeeping to marketing workflows, automation is capable of transforming how SMBs compete in at least two major areas:
- The customer experience (see below)
- Operational efficiencies, where automation-enabled companies get more done with fewer errors in less time, allowing them to redeploy human capital to higher valued activities
Market leaders like Amazon and Uber are setting new standards for customer experience in every industry, challenging SMBs to raise their game. In addition, millennials and Gen Z buyers strongly prefer to buy from companies that are customer-centric. Fortunately, while some technologies that enable greater customer-centricity can be challenging for smaller companies to deploy, SMBs are still capable of delivering a stronger customer experience than larger competitors by virtue of being closer to the customer.
Importance of marketing
I personally know of two small businesses that have 20+ sales people and little in the way of marketing. They are slowly going out of business. Traditional sales-driven approaches are delivering increasingly disappointing results for SMBs. Because of this, SMBs need effective marketing to complement their sales efforts.
Tight labor market
The tight labor market is forcing SMBs to pay attention to their employer brands. Add in rising wages, and SMBs are struggling to retain and attract good employees. This makes it more important today for them to actively market to current and future employees.
Carefully developed go-to-market strategies are more important than ever for a growing share of the SMB market. As geography becomes increasingly irrelevant for buyers, competition can come from anywhere in the world. How SMB owners think and act in response to these forces will determine how they go to market. For example:
- Which customer segments they target
- How they position their company on the price/value spectrum
- How they define their brands
This will, in turn, impact how you must market and sell to them. For B2SMB brands:
- You can help many of your customers and prospects by educating them on the trends above. Some may be so busy with their day-to-day work that they don’t see these trends clearly, or the opportunities that some (e.g., automation) may present. You can help them better run their businesses by pointing some of these things out.
- As appropriate, connect the benefits of your product or service to these 5 trends. Show how your offering can help SMBs overcome disruptive changes in their environment accelerate their business, and give them a leg up on their competition. Additionally, this builds trust and loyalty for your brand.
Get insights and tips for marketing to small and midsize businesses from the people who speak SMB.