Thursday, March 01, 2012

Double your SME marketing effectiveness

SMEs need so much help: with growth, strategic guidance, accounting support, management efficiency, procurement, IT, marketing communications, and employee management and motivation. Yet most entrepreneurs can only afford so much help at a time.
That suggests an easy strategy: If you provide one of the above services, you could partner with a company selling some of that other expertise. Together, you share leads, you can serve each SME more efficiently, and you'll likely get a bigger share of their dollar than you would otherwise get. The fact that you can connect them with a trusted, effective provider will also be appreciated; you've saved them research and decision time, thus helping them move ahead further and faster – which will help cement your status as a trusted provider of value-add.
This happens all the time, of course, when a local accountant recommends a business lawyer, and vice-versa; it's win-win. It happens less often at the national brand level, but that’s more a failure of marketing moxie than anything else: Scotiabank has a successful alliance with the CFIB, for instance, and RBC and Google teamed up last year to encourage more small business to go online.

Business owners are cautious buyers for many reasons: resources are usually tight, they are picky about finding the right solution, and the cost of failure (in time and opportunity lost, as well as cash itself) can be crippling.
Double your credibility with business owners by teaming up with other reputable sales organizations and service providers to create client savings and synergies. Make sure you share similar values with your partners, and offer comparable value propositions. (Lexus, for instance, might not care to hook up with an “everyman” service like Google to offer free web hosting – but why not explore opportunities with an upscale business hotel chain?)

If you make life easier for business owners, by helping them source the deals they are looking for, and saving them the trouble of tracking down other best-in-class providers – they’ll respect you as caring partners. And they’ll stick with you through thick and thin.


Mac said...
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