Many companies ramp up their marketing around the holiday season, and of course they all do it differently.
In the leadup to Small Business Saturday this year, I saw two starkly different approaches to big companies trying to engage small businesses.
|Who do you think did a better job with their B2SMB marketing?|
Wells Fargo ran an ad in the Wall Street Journal, highlighting how it’s helped small businesses score PPP loans and other financing. The company added: “Together with small businesses, we’re bringing hope to the streets.”
Zapier, the automation tool, on the other hand, made its marketing solely about its customers. On its Instagram page, it ran a post: “Zapier customers to shop with on Small Business Saturday.” It then featured several small-business customers, including a coffee shop in Colorado and a vintage art dealer in South Dakota.
I am sure that Wells provided a lot of value to its customers, especially during COVID. I am also sure that Zapier did as well. I was not surprised by Zapier’s approach. (See our post here on how they stepped up to help SMBs early in the pandemic). Everything they do is about helping their customers.
I think Wells missed an opportunity here. They could have showcased how they supported small businesses during the crisis by featuring them. It not only helps to promote a few of their clients, but it illustrates the story about how the bank made an impact. Sure, maybe they were targeting the investment community and not small businesses. Either way, our point still stands.
For the record, it isn’t easy to create content about your customers. (Here’s a primer on how to make it easier.) But the payoffs are huge. Producing customer-based content not only shows you understand the challenges and needs of SMBs and want to help them, but it’s also the type of content that SMBs crave. They love to hear how other SMBs are navigating problems and finding solutions. And what’s better marketing than showing how your brand has helped them do that?
Two questions for you to ponder:
- Which approach did you prefer?
- And which approach is more like the marketing your company is doing these days?
Happy Holidays from the RSL Media team.
Get insights and tips for marketing to small and midsize businesses from the people who speak SMB.