Digital Marketing – Catapult your Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME)

In the last decade, India has emerged as a hotbed for innovation and start-up culture. Many new ventures have stemmed out (giving rise to a new industry altogether at times, example OYO Rooms – a hotel aggregator) which have seen phenomenal growth. But, not all have had the same success story, and many still loom in the small and medium-sized category. Though no small business plans to remain small forever, and thus in order to stimulate growth and build brand equity, it all comes down to how better such businesses market themselves.

Source: https://www.thecolourmoon.com

Now, marketing has always been a very expensive function and if there is not rational and judicious use of resources (especially for SMEs as they do not have big budgets to execute ‘meatiest’ of marketing initiatives) it can very well lead to disastrous results. Due to this, marketing has been a huge struggle and a painful task for SMEs. But, thanks to digital marketing that they (SMEs) now have found economical and effective ways to do so and widen their reach by attracting all potential customers. It has helped the SMEs to improve business-customer interaction and relationship by providing them a unified and integrated experience. In other terms, digital marketing is essentially the new black! You can see almost every company (any size) around the globe doing it and rightly so. It has helped them generate more number of leads, increase conversions, even achieve two-fold increase in sales and revenues, and all of this by adopting a less expensive mode of marketing. Amazing!

Source: https://www.thecolourmoon.com

I would like to share a success story here in order to accentuate the impact of digital marketing on a business. Coconut Bliss is an organic dessert company from Oregon, USA whose products are widely popular in the community due to the company’s social media practices. Coconut Bliss continually interacts with the customers through its various social media accounts. They have mastered the key customer-engagement elements which helps them establish a connection with the customers. Power of digital marketing I must say.

Source: Company FB Page

So, we now know that digital marketing is important for a SME, but, what should a SME essentially do for it? What should be its digital marketing plan?

Well, as a starter, below are few of the steps that a SME can follow.

  • Determine your objective – Instead of directly jumping onto the ‘digital marketing bandwagon’, define what it is that you are trying to achieve. Are you aiming to increase the visibility? Are you targeting more number of leads? Or, a higher Click-Through Rate (CTR)? Having a clearly-defined benchmark will in fact even help you track your performance as you move ahead with the plan.
  • Have a dynamic social media presence and robust CRM systems – Most of the SMEs just create their Facebook pages, Twitter handles, blogs, etc. and leave them there to never look back. This is completely unacceptable! You must use these platforms to foster an engaging business-customer environment and leverage their power to connect more with your target audience. You can communicate live with your customers, understand their needs better, answer their questions, share news with them, etc. Let your brand socialize!
  • Take help of Content Marketing, SEO, SEM techniques – These are your best friends! Make sure your product turns up on the first page search whenever customers look up for their requirements. Keep updating the content on your site as per latest trends, have a mobile-friendly site. Use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, create and disseminate keyword-rich fresh content, get quality back-links, etc. in order to reach out to as many customers as possible.
  • Measure the returns – Last but not the least, always measure the returns from your digital marketing exercise. Analyse the output, and compare it against the input. Are you meeting the objective you set earlier? If the yield is not positive, try to understand the shortcomings. What should have been done better?

Your digital marketing plan can vary from the above as per your business needs, but remember not using any at all can be a big mistake. The statistic speaks for itself,

“Two-thirds of consumers say it is somewhat or very important that companies they interact with are seen as a technology leader.” (2014 Mobile Behaviour Report)

You can checkout some additional tips here as well. So folks, get ready, push the boundaries, and unleash the real power of your SME with the help of digital marketing!

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27 thoughts on “Digital Marketing – Catapult your Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME)

  1. The article is a really nice read, couldn’t agree more with the points raised above.

  2. This article is a nice read on digital marketing and surely brings out the importnace and advantage of using digital marketing for SME. However, one important thing could be noted that digital marketing not only provides SME with wider audience base but also helps them in understanding consumer behavior online. Thus, it not only attracts new consumers but also improves the experience for existing ones. Nice read.

    1. Thank you Aachal for sharing your thoughts. I totally agree with you, digital marketing opens up a host of opportunities for SMEs, including widening of reach and understanding of consumer behavior. Digital Marketing, if employed sincerely, can be their big ticket to success.

  3. Nicely put. Given the current business environment in India, there is a plethora of opportunities that shall open up for SMEs, digital marketing can definitely help them leverage these opportunities. Good read!

    1. Thank you Pragya! Digital Marketing indeed is a blessing for SMEs in order to make their presence felt and make it big.

  4. This article nicely presents the importance of Digital Marketing in startup culture. Digital marketing is more affordable than traditional off-line marketing methods and main benefit of this is that customer experience and response rates can be easily tracked and monitored. All these benefits of Digital Marketing are definitely proven boon for SMEs.

    1. Wonderful insights Bhoomika. As I have also mentioned in the blog – Digital Marketing is the new Black!

  5. Well researched and well written! Digital Marketing, unarguably, has that power and reach. The piece on Coconut Bliss really sends out the strong message of what DM can do for a business. Nice read.

  6. Picture this, I’m a small town guy, and I just have no clue about how digital/social media marketing works, but I do know about the popularity of Facebook seeing everyone around using it, how do you sell the concept to such a person? Keep in mind that his goods are used by all sections of the society, rich and poor, rural and urban.
    Cheers!

    1. Very Reasonable and thoughtful question. If you are not familiar with digital marketing, I would suggest to start with social media by taking your business to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Blog Portals, etc. because having one is almost necessary today. This will help you connect with a larger set of audience instantly, understand their requirement (new customers) and know their experience with your brand (existing customers) – you can post about your offerings, promotions, embed interactive videos, take feedback, answer any grievance, etc. You next move must be to have a website of your enterprise, there are techniques like SEO and SEM which can help your site feature in top page search on Google, Yahoo, etc. (this will ensure maximum footfall and popularity). These are the initial two moves you must make, other advanced digital marketing methods can follow them if required by your business. I am sure, taking these measured steps with utmost sincerity, will definitely help you build and grow your business even with limited resources.

  7. Nice article Manish. Specially the point where you highlighted earnings from digital marketing requires differentiated measuring, caught me.

    1. Thank you Sushovon, I am glad you liked the article. As far as measuring is considered, different channels will definitely require separated measurement.

  8. DM is the future of marketing, not only for SMEs but even for large multinationals. This article makes a solid case as to why should one pay attention to DM and what should be kept in mind for DM.
    @Manish: Thanks for sharing this article. It’s a really good read.

    1. Thank you Malini, I completely agree, the power of DM for any kind of business is unfolding day-by-day.

  9. Very well written Manish.
    Although its genrally difficult to measure input vs output in case of digital marketing… I would love to read something on how can we tackle the same.
    Keep it up☺

    1. Thank you Itisha for the appreciation, I’ll see if I can find something on measuring output of DM efforts and let you know about it.

  10. Digital marketing is like a dark horse. Sometimes it can take you to uncharted waters. It is very important that your vision converges with your aim and objectives. Carefully use this powerful tool!!!..
    Nicely put Manish…

  11. Very well written indeed! Being a part of an SME myself, I totally agree with the points you stated. It shows that you have undertaken some exhaustive research and analysis. Great Job! 🙂

  12. Nicely written article. Very simple and clearly states the baby steps that an SME should take to progress. There is obviously the scope for adding more insightful thoughts. But from the beginners perspective for an SME a good read i must say.

  13. Digital Marketing is indeed the need of the hour. Not only is it cheaper but also effective in having a constant touch with your customers.
    Very well written article Manish!!!!! 🙂

  14. Nicely written. Can’t less agree with “Digital marketing is essentially the new black!”.

  15. Amazingly conveyed! Digital Marketing truly is the new black. I would like to add to the stream of though that along with the presence, it has also become imperative to continually keep analyzing the results in-house. 2 benefits- cost effective and since your page data is accessible for a small duration of time on sites like facebook, it ensures one doesn’t loose stats. Requesting data from social networks for an SME could be equivalent to suicide! Also, its a good idea to invest in paid analytics tools. Helps keep the analysis going consistently…rather than waking up to see your free online tool gone with the wind one fine day!
    Must read for an entrepreneur in the digital age 😀 😀

  16. Very nice article Manish. Digital marketing has given a level playing field to SMEs. It has become easy for them to reach their target audience in a cost effective manner. But I think there is some downside also, like a negative review or post can damage the reputation of product and as it caters to a larger audience it can do some serious damage to the prospects of the company. Barring a few negative aspect digital marketing offers a fantastic marketing opportunity to SMEs which can stimulate growth and help them to transform themselves into much bigger enterprise.

  17. Digital marketing is not only cheap but also effective way of Marketing. Good Article, offers good insight.

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