Lack of Talent
Marketing is a very competitive field. Despite being one of the most enrolled majors, there is in fact a lack of marketing practitioner. One is because there are not enough job and second because the job requirement is often too high for the graduate to fullfil.
A right marketing person needs to be both technical and empathic. He needs to know both business and customer pain point and what is the best way to solve both problems. He needs to know multiple options and choose the very best option for his given budget. Basically, he needs to have the almost exact skill set of a CEO. It is not coincident that most of the world most influential CEO comes from the marketing background.
No long term marketing plan
Marketing is not a needed department in most SME company. Most of SME company, who do not have a ton of funding, should focus their attention to their sale department or their accounting department.
However, if you want to achieve high growth-rate and be more sustainable with your company growth, it is crucial to have a solid marketing plan. A good marketing plan allows the company to build and define their position in the market. It is the quickest way to build your branding and reach more customers. Without long term marketing, SME company is also volatile toward market changes. Therefore, if you are SME, it is in your best interest to have a long-term plan of how your brand will develop.
Money is a sensitive issue for SME. Budgeting for marketing can get really tricky for SME. For one thing, marketing often correlates with sale revenue indirectly. It is hard to put a number on a marketing plan as its result is difficult to define most of the time. Secondly, it takes an experienced project manager to decide how much of our budget should be used for marketing. Most of SME marketing team do not have an experienced project manager. Therefore, budgeting for marketing in SME is often off the mark, which leads to the potential failure of the project.
Inexperienced staff, undefined marketing plan, not enough budgets, etc. All these things contribute to the fact that if there is a marketing plan that SME is implementing, it is usually falling short of executives’ expectation. Most of our clients tried running their marketing plan on their own but was disappointed with the results. They feel like their money was wasted, without giving their company any seeable benefits. For SME, running an efficient marketing plan takes a very talented individual, a resource that SME often does not have access to.
Compared to the big corporate marketing team or independent agency, SME marketing lacks the resourcefulness to get the job done. They do not have access to the right tools or the right connections. Independent agency often has access to cases and big corporations have the money to hire an agency for consultation. Meanwhile, all SME marketing team has access to is their own cases, which if you are reading this blog, I would take that they did not go so well.
Read more: Why you need a professional website?
3 ways SME owners can avoid marketing challenge
Learning about marketing yourself
Invest time and resource to learn more about marketing if you are an executive in your SME firm. This knowledge is indispensable and will help you grow your company fast. It will take times and failure, but learning is always a worthwhile investment.
Invest more in R&D:
Invest more in your products and services. If you are able to offer a product or service so valuable with a low price cost, you do not need much marketing to promote your product. Eventually, the product is going to promote itself. However, it is a very dangerous path, as to whether your product is good or not is based on customers’ opinions on the product. It is very risky if you depend entirely on how good you think your products are.
Outsourcing your marketing
Hire someone to do your marketing for you. Nowadays, there are a lot of marketing agencies. Most of the time, the marketing agency is very good at what they do. Their word is often their bond, as if a marketing firm did not fullfil given deliverables, they are at risk of losing valuable customers and their reputation. They are also often armed with current best practice and full of ideas. However, if you are to hire one, you need to have extremely clear communication skill. If SME fails to communicate with its hired agency and vice versa, the collaboration is likely to be a failure.