Big corporations may have big budgets – but they also have mountains of red tape, dozens of people to answer to and heavy pressure to maximize returns. As a small business owner – you don’t have to worry about any of that, which gives you a great deal of freedom in your advertising.
We’d like to share with you a few of the reasons that SMB marketing can be as good, if not better, than big corporate marketing.
Flexibility and Agility
A small business owner can start a new campaign, watch how it performs for a few weeks, then tweak it, re-direct it or scrap it entirely and start over. They can do this because they were economical in the expenditures required to create the campaign and since they own the company, can make all high level decisions quickly, as they need to be made.
Big corporations with twenty-person marketing departments and men in suits watching menacingly from the background do not have this luxury. They’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into a campaign, and if it fails, they’ll have shareholders to answer to. Can you imagine watching a marketing campaign flop and not being able to do anything about it because you’re waiting for a signature from some department head? Me neither.
Restriction Breeds Creativity
You’ve heard that necessity is the mother of invention?
Well it’s one hundred percent true, especially when it comes to SMB marketing. If you’ve got very little to work with, you’re going to make darn sure you get as much bang for your buck as possible, which means being creative and open minded. Can’t afford a radio spot? Donate some product to charity and get a free one! Printing flyers is too expensive? Create a 30 second video for YouTube instead. The possibilities are endless when you start thinking outside the “banner-ad, commercial, radio spot, paid traffic” box.
A big company on the other hand, has a huge marketing budget, so they don’t need to be creative or come up with something new and impressive to make up for their lack of reach. If someone says “Let there be flyers” then behold, they have flyers. Pretty boring, really.
You Have Only Yourself to Please
You get to inject a lot of your personality into a business when you own it, and that can take your promotions miles and miles. If you think a certain campaign is funny, or the right kind of edgy for your customers – you can go for it. You can take risks with content without worrying about some people being offended, because you’re trying to hit home with the people it won’t offend. This can be a double-edged sword – but the bottom line is it’s your company, and if you have a good feeling about something, you get to go for it.
Our friend the giant multi-national is not allowed to please itself and take potentially damaging risks in their advertising. You’ve heard stories about ads that have offended or failed miserably and the brutal fallout that can ensue. Every time that something like this happens, you can bet that some marketing executive gets bumped down to office gofer. Also, let’s be totally honest here – a big company trying to be edgy and sophisticated usually just looks stupid and disingenuous. You will fit your SMB marketing to your company’s vision – but you also have the power to change that vision if it becomes appropriate to do so.
At the end of the day, you shouldn’t feel bad about having fewer resources than some of the larger players out there. There are serious, valuable benefits to being small – make the best of them!
Over to you – what’s the neatest free or low-cost SMB marketing trick you’ve ever tried, or seen? Leave a comment and let us know…
Danny Iny (@DannyIny), a.k.a. the “Freddy Krueger of Blogging”, teaches marketing that works at Mirasee. Together with Guy Kawasaki, Brian Clark and Mitch Joel, he wrote the book on building engaged audiences from scratch (available on Amazon, or as a free download).