One of the key challenges of the present economic climate for small and medium sized enterprises is how to maximize the impact of the advertising and promotion budget. There’s a dual problem here. On one hand, budgets are squeezed as revenue streams come under pressure – and the advertising budget is no exception. On the other hand, with cash-conscious customers chasing down value as hard as they can, targeted, focused and cost-effective business promotion is of paramount importance if your company is to retain market share, let alone continue to grow. So how do you square the circle?
Perhaps the most important consideration is to know your target market – who’s your potential buyer and how do you reach them? Following on from that, you need to understand your competitors, and how you differentiate your product from theirs. If you can’t answer the question “why should my customers buy from me rather than them?” it’s an absolute certainty your customers won’t be able to either.
Clearly cost effectiveness is important. It would be absurd for a small local business such as, say, a small light haulage business to contemplate a full page advertisement in the national press or a TV advertising campaign. But there are some things that larger businesses do, and do well, that smaller enterprises can, and should, be doing too.