As I did on Friday for the nonprofit sector, here are my top 10 small and medium business marketing blog posts from last year:
A recent study by BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor says that small-medium businesses (SMBs) perceived their Twitter ROI as “excellent” (10-19 times spend; 18.8%) or “extraordinary” (20+ times spend; 12.3%), up from 25% of advertisers in last year’s survey and 17.1% in 2011. But, there’s something missing here.
The demise of the 3½ x 2″ business card is a myth. If you’re working, you still need a business card. Why?
Your B2B (business-to-business) company may not be sending the “right” brand messages, according to newly-released McKinsey research. It appears that many companies are using ineffective brand messaging to engage their customers and prospects. The research suggests, “a marked apparent divergence between the core messages companies communicate about their brands and the characteristics their customers value most.” Oh-oh.
No matter how small or large your company is, if it’s involved in cause marketing – supporting a charitable cause – there are new guidelines out for you. According to the 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study, social impact is the new standard for how companies address social and environmental issues to drive meaningful and positive change.
Here’s a switch. Smaller businesses – those with 10-99 employees – are outdoing large companies with over 1000 employees on content marketing strategy. Almost half of smaller businesses (48%) have a documented content strategy, compared with 41% of large organizations, according to a newly-released study from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. And, get this…
Most smaller businesses and nonprofits exist to serve their customers. But sometimes, they take their eyes off the ball during organizational change or growth. And, that’s not a good thing. The customer experience is a key factor in building brand loyalty for any organization. Every brand touchpoint must offer a positive, exceptional experience. When that experience is lackluster or inconsistent, the risk for customer attrition rises.
Right now, your website is like a bucket with a hole in the bottom; maybe several. Trickles of your diligent investment to gain targeted traffic are going to waste and the holes must be plugged up before they cost you any more money. The number of considerations in a strong homepage is vast, making it easy to overlook business essentials that can cost you clients. Here are 9 critical website elements to make sure this doesn’t happen.
Content marketers want you to believe that content is everything in marketing now. Same thing with the in-bound marketers, mobile marketers, database marketers, SEO (search engine optimization) marketers, social media marketers, and so on and so on…
It’s funny how it works… small businesses want to look bigger than they are, while corporations want to appear smaller and more personal. No one’s ever satisfied, right? One thing’s for sure. When it comes to interacting on social media sites, being personal works best no matter the size of your business.
Of all the marketing challenges we face in the business and nonprofit sectors, there’s one that is “fixable.” Integration. What is marketing integration?
Here’s to a successful year in 2014 to all my SMB colleagues and friends!
Your B2B (business-to-business) company may not be sending the “right” brand messages, according to newly-released McKinsey research. It appears that many companies are using ineffective brand messaging to engage their customers and prospects.
The research suggests, “a marked apparent divergence between the core messages companies communicate about their brands and the characteristics their customers value most.” Oh-oh.
What’s most interesting is that the analysis showed a “surprising similarity among the brand themes that leading B2B companies emphasized, suggesting a tendency to follow the herd rather than create strongly differentiated brand messages.” Perhaps B2B companies can learn a thing or two from B2C companies on this one.
Of the 13 themes, the majority (86%) of B2B companies thought that role modeling corporate social responsibility would earn them the most brand points with customers. Guess how many of their customers thought this theme gave them brand strength? Too few to register statistical significance!
Their second choice (84%) was promoting and practicing sustainability in their products or services. Again, there were too few to register statistical significance. It was the same thing with their number three choice: having global reach (79%).
And, guess which theme came in last? Low prices!
So, what brand theme DOES resonate with B2B customers?
1. Cares about open dialog with its customers and society. (17%)
2. Acts responsibly across its supply chains. (16%)
3. Has a high level of specialist expertise. (15%)
What to Do?
According to the McKinsey authors, “Especially at a time when opportunities to deliver brand messages are proliferating as never before, consistency is crucial. If anything, today’s increasingly fragmented environment calls for a more disciplined communication of values and messages across a wider range of channels, including some quite traditional ones, for a longer period of time.”
Does this surprise you? Is your B2B company using any of the low-performing brand messages? Do you plan to revise them?