Brand Strategy. Brand Energy.
The small and medium size business marketing place is huge. I mean large. I’m saying gigantic.
Just how big compared to their big business brother?
Micro / 1-4 employees / 13,231,562 businesses / 75% of total / 27,884,651 contact names / 43% or total
Small A / 5-9 employees / 1,943,132 businesses / 11% of total / 6,886,895 contact names / 10% of total
Small B / 10-19 employees / 1,247,580 businesses / 7% of total / 5,865,649 contact names / 9% of total
Medium / 20-99 employees / 1,089,625 businesses / 6% of total / 12,797,020 contact names / 20% of total
Large / 100+ employees / 207,493 businesses / 1% of total / 11,788,517 contact names / 18% of total
Point blank, if you go after the smaller market you are aiming at 62% or all businesses.
So what is a good plan of attack? In this blog I give you 4 areas to look at.
1) Know the Purchasing Dynamics. There are big differences in how you need to look at a small micro (1-4) vers a mid (20-99) sized company. The micro businesses are usually hand to mouth businesses living from invoice to invoice. There are lots of them, but cash flow can be a problem in the segment. Cash, COD or prepayment is a good thing. Their appetites for services and products is small and you need to test your offers with lots and lots of these small (schools) of fish. You need to keep a very narrow nitch to avoid confusing this market on what you are offering. The Midsized are a different animal, they have people specific titles such as purchasing manager, marketing manager, sales manager, office manager. This makes a totally different kind of attach and message you might have to be using. The ones in between? It’s a mixed bag of where and how they are growing and what the owners business since is.
2) Know your company and the best prospects for you. Know thy self. If you know yourself the hunting ground you pick will or should be filled with the kinds of prospects you want to be in front of. This is not as hard as you might think. Look at who is buying from you now and good find more of them. This analyses should show you types, sizes, what they buy and how much. If you track yourself you will also know transition level and marketing penetration. Turn to the SIC codes and employee size that have in the past given you the most return.
If you understand the makeup of the kind of customer you now have be it micro, small a, b or mid, you can target your limited resources. Success really comes down to:
40% - list
20% - consistency
20% - offer
20% - the rest
3) Know how to mix and match marketing channels. Not every product or service works in each and every marketing channel. Phone. Email. Mail, moble apts, SEM, pay for click, etc, etc, etc. want a list of marketing tools go to http://www.larsonassociates.ws/marketing_tools .
I have found that the 3 most potent marketing tools are:
The big guys will be telling you, you need a mix of 60% direct mail, 20% e-mail and 20% telemarketing. Well. . . they are not you and working in your budget. We at Larson sort of go 50% telemarketing, 5% E-mail, 5% direct mail, 30% Social Media Marketing, 5% Web site, 5% the rest. Heavy on the sweat equity and low on the cash outlay. You need to do what works for you, not me nor anyone else. It takes a little time and experminatioin to figure this out but it is well worth the effort.
When you get down to ROI, count your pennies carefully. Friend and followers are not hard cash and cash in king in business. Want to be the homecoming king or queen of your Social Media Site go find yourself a bucket full of friends. What to eat at the Ritz, go find yourself a pail of paying customers.
4) Analyze your results and make adjustments. Analyze, analyze, analyze, measure, measure, measure, adjust, adjust, adjust!
One of the most common traps is to fall in love with what you are doing. Now don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying change things because YOU are getting boarded with them. YOU DON’T COUNT (here). What matters is what your prospects and customers think and say. You might post your message 1234 times, you might make 8365 phone calls, you might send out 4532 post card mailings. You are so tired of hearing yourself saying the same thing time and time again, but guess what, your prospect, each one, has only heard it ONCE maybe twice. Yes that’s right, it is new to them. Brand spanking new!
Concentrate on sales, orders, and cross-selling. Look at that. If those numbers take a dive, then and only then make a change.
Larson Notes & Satire: I do the same thing day after day, week after week. Call, mailing, blogging. Why because it works. It works because I do in as completely as I can! 95-100% of 3 things is much better than 66% of 10 things.
Now if you can land a big company account beware. The money can be good. The rewards high, but beware, if any 1 account is more than 20% of your work load get out there and narrow the gap. You need to be in a position where no one company is holding you or could hold you hostage if they pull the account, at least get it down to only 45%. Don’t do it for me. Do it for yourself. I have done a lot of sleepless nights worrying over that big account. No more. Spread them out and sleep at night. I’m not saying that I would turn down a big account. Well maybe I am. If a large company came to me and begged me to take on a telemarketing program needing say, 20 to 40 seats, I would either not do it or I would outsource it to a (trusted) friend in the business.
Ya you heard me, I don’t want to be that big! I like being small. I have no aspirations of a 100 person company. I did once and guess what I worked 60 hours a week and never got a vacation. I have no desire to have my face on Forbes or INC magazine. I like me and where my company is and what we do for small to midsized companies.
I guess I want some quality in my life and not the headaches.
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better
P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.
P.P.S. An American Company, marketing American Companies! Call or email to get an appointment to pick my brain (a $125.00 value) for 30 minutes.