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Help me, don't sell to me - how to win hearts & minds with SMEs

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Ever faced challenges in targeting small businesses?
You’re not alone.

Employing 248m+ in Europe, SMEs account for £1.8 trillion in the UK alone and represent a huge opportunity. But it’s a fiercely competitive market. Buyers are more resistant to the ‘hard sell’ and traditional outbound just won’t cut it anymore.

Read this deck to dicover:
• How SMEs want to be marketed and sold to
• Top tips on segmenting and planning an integrated campaign
• How to take an agile approach to your marketing
• Best practice for measurement, KPIs and ROI benchmarking

Published in: Marketing

Help me, don't sell to me - how to win hearts & minds with SMEs

  1. 1. Help me, don’t sell to me How to win hearts & minds – and drive ROI – with SMEs
  2. 2. SMEs offer a huge opportunity SMEs vs Large enterprises Number of enterprises in the EU (%) 0.2% 99.8% 99.8% of all EU businesses are SMEs 133 million employees across the EU £1.8 trillion revenue in UK alone SMEs Large enterprises Source: Eurostat © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  3. 3. There’s no surprise that blue chips want a piece of the action 70% of marketers believe the SME market is extremely important to their business 38% say they will aggressively boost their SME marketing investments Two out of three big business brands are planning to increase their focus and investment in engaging SMEs Source: CMO Council, 2015 Survey © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  4. 4. But there are three BIG challenges to overcome 1 Hard to define audience 2 Expensive to reach 3 Difficult to speak to © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  5. 5. Challenge #1: It’s an extremely hard to define audience Who is the decision-maker and how is the decision made? It’s tempting to start with job titles and industries… Only 8% of marketers have a complete view of the SMB customer 9 out of 10 struggle to identify and connect with actual small business decision makers Source: CMO Council, 2015 Survey © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  6. 6. A new way of segmenting Firmographics & Psychographics Sets of characteristics to segment prospect organisations. What demographics are to people, firmographics are to organisations Source: Wikipedia The study and classification of people according to their attitudes and aspirations Source: Wikipedia © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  7. 7. Why Firmographics? Goes beyond SIC/SOC: Performance Status or structure Size Location Industry © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  8. 8. Why Firmographics? And means we can communicate to them in a life-stage transition: Profit Loss Start-up 0 Years Pick-up Scale-up Maturing Strugglers Grow to a large firm Exit © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  9. 9. Why Psychographics? Because in business decisions personal drivers outweigh business drivers by 2:1. Google CEB/Motista survey We must consider both when segmenting: Explicit goals Implicit goals Category specific Buyer specific Driven by the individual Driven by the organisation © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  10. 10. The Earnest Goal Matrix Progress I need to do this to get ahead Gain an advantage over others; Innovate; Lead the field Receive acclaim; Advance career; Win awards/accolades Stay on top; Maintain status quo; Be empowered Need to comply; Fulfil promises; Be true to my word Be secure; Prevent losses; Avoid threats Personal discovery; Learning experience; Challenge myself; Helping others Go-getter Status seeker Adventurer Worrier Controller Box-ticker I need to do this to look good I need to do this to stay in control I need to do this because it’s expected of me I need to do this to learn/because it looks interesting I need to do this to avoid losing out/ losing something Recognition Stimulation Avoidance Control Obligation PROMOTION Implicit goals Primary driver Motivations Persona PREVENTION © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  11. 11. Bringingitalltogether: example personainaction Name: Jacqueline Business: Tech consultancy Job role: Managing Director How they buy: Online industry forums. Peer recommendations. Social and search. “If I had a solution to help keep track on my people and their projects – my work/ life would be so much easier” Firmographics Lifecycle: Scale-up Industry Location Size Status Performance Psychographics Persona: Go-getter Explicit drivers Implicit drivers Challenges Triggers Technology Help clients. Provide tech recommendations. Grow the business. Be valued. Be more than just an IT service provider. Time poor. Lacking support and infrastructure. A new client win – needing to expand headcount. Brighton, UK Small (25 employees) Privately owned, self-funded Growing y-on-y © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  12. 12. Challenge #2: SMEs are difficult and expensive to reach Low average cost per sale and addressable market size prevent big awareness push 82% of SMEs say telemarketing is not effective And the old ways just wont cut it… <1% response rate to cold data emails Sources: Circle Research, Fastcompany © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  13. 13. We must align to how they research, choose and buy Awareness Exploration Purchase Delight Buyer need What’s my problem? Who’s in this space? Who can help me? Get our message out in an impactful way Who’s saying something interesting and different? Who’s helping my thinking? Create interesting content that inspires and helps a potential buyer What do I need to buy? Do I trust this company? Be the easiest to buy from. Overcome any potential objections Have I made a good decision? Does this company care about my needs? Continue to reinforce and demonstrate value across the relationship. Surprise & Delight! Our task © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  14. 14. And target them contextually Jacqueline, MD of IT Consultancy B2B buyers are exposed to up to 5,000 marketing messages per day Hubspot Breakfast Travel On the job On the job Travel Home SocialiseLunch break WoM OOH OOH © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  15. 15. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com So how can we be the most helpful brand out there?
  16. 16. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com Case Example: HubSpot Website Grader Click here to grade your site!
  17. 17. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  18. 18. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com Case Example: Town Square content hub Click here to check out the site
  19. 19. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  20. 20. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com Case Example: YouTube Director app Click here to learn more
  21. 21. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  22. 22. In summary: Key principles for planning your campaigns Base around the buyer journey – and be the most helpful brand around Go beyond ‘interruptive’ marketing – answer their needs Take an iterative approach – learn from your data © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  23. 23. Challenge #3: Many brands get their tone completely wrong “I am not an ‘SME’. I am a small, or owner- managed, or independent, or growing, or self-employed, or new, or young, or boutique business. When I go to a party I do not say “Hi, I’m an SME.” And as for the ‘smee’ word, what is that all about? I never ever call myself a ‘smee’. I do not want to be patronised. If people talked to you the way that corporates speak to small businesses – you would punch them on the nose.” Robert Craven, Managing Director, Small Business © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  24. 24. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com An experiment...
  25. 25. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
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  28. 28. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
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  33. 33. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  34. 34. Testing: going beyond focus groups The problem with focus groups: People adopt a persona Unconscious ‘herd mentality’ Artificial environment Eye tracking EEG (electroencephalography) Neuro marketing © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  35. 35. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com Case Example: Hiscox Click here for full case study
  36. 36. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  37. 37. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com Case Example: iZettle 12 Hour Store Click here to watch video
  38. 38. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com
  39. 39. © Earnest (London) Ltd 2016 www.earnest-agency.com Six key take outs Segment your audience through firmographics & psychographics Take an iterative approach: test and learn Plan your campaign around the buyer journey Be wary of testing creative in focus groups Be the most helpful brand out there Not all small business owners run flower shops and hold an ‘OPEN’ sign! 1 4 2 5 3 6
  40. 40. @andrew__last 12 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 8BZ www.earnest-agency.com Expect the unexpected

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