Winning Differentiators for SMEs
The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.” – George Eliot
Successful marketing can enable companies of all sizes to grow rapidly and punch above their weight. Marketing /PR are the vital sparks that makes your business flourish – so here are some proven essential tips to help you make your revenues soar and create a brand identity. Some are low cost or no cost, but all are effective. With my integrated Marketing Communication experience working with IT start ups and SMEs in India, I have summed up to best of my capability.
SMEs in India must invest in smart IT technologies, and in my experience I have seen that they are winning differentiators. Simple inexpensive technologies have added to the success of small and medium IT Businesses. The mistake most IT SMEs do is ignoring IT deployment. I would strongly recommend every IT SME must also look at a phased scalable strategy. The downturn had a devastating impact on SMEs worldwide, and it has lowered the IT spending, but IT SME’s must invest in next generation technologies like the Cloud, advanced CRM technologies and so on.
IT SMEs in India must carefully manage their media stakeholders; they must map and manage them well. It is important to have a public relations plan. This can be press releases for a company product or a service, building thought leadership, IT Channel communications, just to name a few. Often this phase can seem daunting, but these activities will help you by taking you through development step-by-step.
Classify the media stakeholder category and let your communication strategy evolve. Do evolve a short term and long term goals. Align your PR goals with the Marketing goals that will help you actually integrate the communication effort. Most IT SMEs in India do standalone PR activities, forgetting to align it with the company’s marketing goals.
Social Media Management Techniques
In an era of increased interaction, every IT SME in India must invest time and resources in Social Media. Small and Medium Business owners should look beyond the brick and mortar and reach out to a bigger audience with the web. Establishing your online presence is vital, whether it’s by creating an interactive, regularly updated site or blog, or by building informative yet informal profiles on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. Opening communication channels online will not only increase product awareness, it’ll also boost your online presence.
Promote your business online through attractive design and content on your website that would appeal to users and position your business and brand/product /services as a source of valuable knowledge. Creating these content pages does not require any additional budget, but they do require time and creativity.
This is an excellent tool to promote your business and get others to use your product and services. You can trade your product for advertising space or for another company’s product or service. This is especially helpful when two companies on limited budgets can exchange their services. This can range from running bartering channel schemes to loyalty schemes. All of these unique techniques need to be monitored for efficacy.
Identifying the right strategy
No single marketing effort works all the time for every business, so rotate several Marketing tactics and vary your approach. Your customers tune out after a while if you toot only one note. Not only that, YOU get bored. Marketing can be fun, so take advantage of the thousands of opportunities available for communicating your value to customers. But don’t be arbitrary about your selection of a variety of marketing ploys. Plan carefully. Get feedback from customers and adapt your efforts according.
Remember that different folks need different strokes. Every stakeholder is different and every business/product /geography is different.