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Ensuring small businesses don’t fall through the cracks in your marketing and sales

How can B2B marketers make sure small business prospects don't fall through the gaps? B2B Marketing and Earnest's small business success pack is here to help

Last month, we kicked off the Think Small programme, a B2B marketing success pack exploring the opportunity the small business market presents for B2B brands.

With 99.8% of EU businesses classified as SMEs – representing a turnover of over £1.8 trillion – it’s easy to see the appeal of this potentially lucrative segment. However, the flipside is many brands are, unfortunately, failing to turn this opportunity into tangible revenue and success.

Volume/value quandary

And it all starts with some fairly simple economics – something we call the volume/value quandary that comes with targeting small businesses.

Think about it. If you’re marketing to large businesses, depending on what you sell, you only typically need a few customers to deliver fairly lucrative returns.

However, smaller businesses have shallower pockets. That means you need to acquire more of them to make it worth your while.

But then you’ve got to be careful about how much marketing budget you spend in their pursuit, as a high cost of acquisition can soon eat away at your profits.

In a nutshell, it calls for brands to think differently about how they address and serve small businesses – and an understanding of the nuances of how they want to be engaged.

Leave your preconceptions at the door

That’s certainly not about bombarding them with unsolicited calls and emails. In fact, 82% of SMEs say that telemarketing doesn’t work – and under 1% respond to cold emails. Plus, when you’re a busy small business owner, do you really want your day to be interrupted by constant calls giving you the hard sell?

It may come as no surprise online plays a key role across the purchase cycle for small businesses – but brands need to appreciate there’s a complex interplay between on- and offline channels.

While decision-makers and influencers are actively researching online, they’re also seeking recommendations from family, friends and industry peers.

While online demos and reviews serve as influential sources of information, they also want to be able to speak to an expert as the need arises.

While more and more want the convenience of being able to purchase online, they also want the option of buying over the phone or in-person.

And while they find online resources useful in gaining support, when push comes to shove, they want to be able to speak to real people to resolve their issues.

But how can you meet these needs effectively, without the costs exceeding the returns?

This month, we’ll be exploring these issues further – and giving marketers advice on how to overcome the obstacles. We’ll also be hearing from real small business owners about what it’s like to be on the receiving end of your marketing - what works and what doesn’t.

Think Small: How to market to small businesses

In this marketing success pack, B2B Marketing and Earnest offer advice, opinion and first-hand experiences of targeting and engaging small businesses owners.

Learn how to target small business owners

Think Small: How to market to small businesses image