It is a common belief that most SMEs shut down because their product or service is not up to the mark or simply say, it is bad. However, the right reason for their shut down is their inability to correctly market and sell the manufactured product or service. This holds true not just for SMEs but for big companies as well.
In the past few years, India has witnessed the digital explosion and therefore, online marketing can be considered as the best option for SME marketing. Notably, it is estimated that there would be approximately 700 million internet users (primarily on mobile devices) by 2020. Online marketing is divided into B2C and B2B segments.
Let us first understand the key difference between B2C and B2B.
What is B2C?
B2C stands for Business to Consumer. Here, the product is sold directly to the consumer from the business. Examples of B2C are housecleaning, services, retail stores, and restaurants. Websites offering consumer products also fall under B2C. Most of the B2C purchases are made on the basis of price and product.
What is B2B?
B2B means business to business. The products are marketed from one business to another. The products and services are sold to another business.
Now, most of the SMEs take care of B2C. They, at times, give less importance to B2B while it certainly can bring them good leads and traffic. However, for people who do give importance to B2B, they usually focus on just having an online presence with the help of a website that covers the basic requirements only. Their website only talks about the products and services offered and the contact information.
The point that SMEs need to focus here is they are addressing two types of consumers through their website, i.e. the influencer and decision maker. To understand this better, let’s take the help of an example. Suppose, you own a toy manufacturing company. In this case, your influencer would be kids who would come across your website while searching on the internet. However, the final decision if the product will be bought or not will be taken by the decision maker, i.e. their parents.
Notably, in some cases, the influencer and decision makers differ while in some they are the same. However, while planning a digital marketing campaign, both of them must be focused.
Apart from this, most SMEs invest in digital marketing primarily with the motive of increasing leads, i.e. customers. However, the conversion, from the search on the internet to purchase, usually takes 3-6 months. And for the time being, they must have patience and work in the right direction.
Let’s take a look at a few digital marketing checks:
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A strategy document is necessary for the marketing strategy to go in the right direction. A clearly defined strategy document includes the objectives of digital marketing, KPIs, priority platforms, budgets, etc.
As discussed earlier, the objectives of digital marketing cannot be achieved instantaneously. The timeline for which the marketing will run must be mentioned clearly and accepted by all the stakeholders, if any.
A holistic picture of the digital marketing plan is important. Not taking the complete picture is the key mistake often committed by most of the SMEs. For the marketer, it is important to create a relationship metrics between paid, owned, and earned media.
A customer is the most important factor for any business to run. The main aim of digital marketing must be to understand the customers better. It is Important for the SMEs to create a detailed document that defines the consumers, their habits, motivations, and aspirations. Understanding the consumer better will help an SME to identify the key points for consumers and create a memorable experience for them.
Content strategy is an important aspect of digital marketing that improves customer engagement. There is a huge demand for content in the market and the SMEs must create content. Notably, content creation must be a regular affair and not campaign specific since your customers are looking for content continuously and not during the digital marketing campaigns.
Having said this, now comes the most important point, finances for marketing! Many SMEs are unwilling to take out junks of funds from their cash cycle, leading to the digital marketing to take a back seat. Nonetheless, seeing the number of benefits of digital marketing, not taking its advantages to successfully run a business can be a bad or say disastrous choice. So, an SME can also avail a business loan to finance digital marketing strategies.
ZipLoan offers SME loans of up to INR 1-5 lakhs to small business owners to help them grow. We offer unsecured business loan and all our business loans are offered with minimal documentation, no pre-payment charges, and on best interest rates.