So there I am! Back on Savvy and quite excited to be here and to connect with as many SME’s as possible. I wish you a challenging but rewarding year. Why not share your goals with me and our community? I am not shy so I’ll start - my goal this year is to see all SME’s better educated about the importance of strategic marketing and to take even more businesses from where they are to where they need to be.
We are currently working on a nationwide media story regarding SME marketing and interviewing hundreds of businesses to gather research and to show how real marketing has lost its meaning especially in the SME sector (my prime focus). We are gathering data to show the constant path of improvement SME's could be creating by marketing strategically.
What’s this whole thing about strategic marketing I hear you say? Isn’t marketing all online this year? Short answer is it’s partly web (I do love online) but only partly because there’s a whole lot of other stuff as well if you want to get ahead and have a sustainable business – which nobody talks about.
From my perspective, strategic marketing is the way in which a firm effectively differentiates itself from its competitors by capitalising on its strengths (both current and latent) to provide consistently better value to customers than its competitors. In principle it’s that simple, but it means a lot more than getting creative with the marketing mix – whether that’s online or offline. Figures usually say that around 80% of SME’s don’t have a business plan; now I’m terrified to question how many businesses aren’t reaching their full potential because their marketing was never systemised or planned. Sniff.
Your weapon this year will be to fully understand and use your company’s capabilities and goals, market trends and the competitive landscape to design a positive differentiation in the eyes of your target market. Big data, cloud solutions and mobile responsiveness are the big trends. On another note, forget B2B and think H2H – human to human. Due to social media and the personalisation of messages, the market is moving towards businesses that engage with their target market, are personal in their approach and are story tellers. Hear no pitch, see no pitch and speak no pitch – start engaging. Think differently about the whole marketing thing.
Strategic marketing is one of the crucial tools which can make you forget that it hurts and sucks to be the best kept secret in your industry but I will let Philip Kotler the undisputed heavyweight champion of marketing explain the whole thing here.
Marketing Strategy lays a structure for crucial change in the way you think and work when it comes to marketing – it makes you think like an innovator, it makes your business become proactive rather than reactive.
They often say that creativity has no limits however the best outcomes are produced within limits and often SME’s have limits that make them push marketing aside inside of trying to do more with less and to seek the help of people who can make this happen for them. This year with all the technology available and some good old business strategy it's time to give a very necessary rebirth to SME marketing and to bring back its true meaning.