David vs Goliath – you CAN do it…..

I have heard throughout my life that size doesn’t matter! Similarly, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Well…..when it comes to business, I concur. As an owner of a business with a team of 7, we very much pride ourselves on our reaction times and service levels. We always aim to provide bespoke marketing solutions rather than off the shelf solutions. When I asked a selection of our clients why they approached BMC instead of maybe larger, more traditional “agencies” I was pleasantly surprised to find out the answers.

Below are some of my tips on how a smaller business can not only compete with a larger one, but stand out against them –

1. Always respond to prospects quickly and personally
Smaller companies differentiate themselves from big ones through faster, more in-depth human communication.

My suggestion would be, whether in person or on the phone, respond quickly and personally to a personal approach. Companies of all sizes have adopted automated software for marketing, but relying on automation loses the personal touch that differentiates small businesses from corporations.

2. Don’t solve unique problems with standard solutions.
Big companies tend to try and fit clients into pre-set boxes. Off the shelf solutions are much more costs effective to offer and hence, larger companies will try and predict solutions and have an already made solution.

Smaller companies can be nimble in their ability to customise offerings to match specific needs. Start-ups and/or smaller businesses should take advantage of this by providing more specific service to customers who would fall through the cracks at larger entities.

3. Keep the face of the company familiar.
Bigger companies tend to have big sales teams and lots of people who interact with clients. Small companies have only a few, but this, in my opinion is a strength.  Statistically, maximizing customer satisfaction through a consistent customer journey can potentially increase customer satisfaction by 20% and boost revenue by 15%. Keep the point of human contact as consistent as possible so prospects feel that they’re dealing with a person — not a brand.

While startups use personal service to get in front of clients, big companies invest in technology so they don’t have to. Keep personnel the same through the inquiry, proposal, launch and implementation phases. Customers will feel more valued if they are not being shuffled from one department to the next.

Related: 4 Advantages every Entrepreneur should be using
No matter how much ground big companies cover, they can’t be everything for every customer, and that leaves an opening for startups to survive and thrive. Small companies can leverage their agility, flexibility and creativity to go above and beyond for customers where the big businesses would otherwise get stuck in the mud.

Small companies that focus on building active, solution-forward relationships with customers will find it’s easier to win out against the sluggish big businesses in today’s fast-moving market.

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AIDA – explain it please.

I am pretty sure you have all heard of AIDA – the 4 key areas of advertising – but do you know exactly what they stand for and how to encompass them into your advertising strategy?
A – Capture the customer’s attention and make him AWARE of the product/service you are offering
I – Make an IMPACT and stimulate his interest.
D – Persuade him that he is deprived because he does not possess the product/service you are offering and therefore stimulate a DESIRE or demand for it.
A – The actual purchase made or ACTION taken.
There are however, difficulties associated with assessing the effectiveness of your promotional expenditure, mainly because of the possible delays taken to yield a result or action. In the case of advertising, a distinction must be made between what is known as direct response advertising and brand awareness advertising. The former is widely used when selling a product i.e. the retail industry where a sofa is on sale for a limited time. Whereas the latter type of advertising might be used to build awareness in the first instance.
In Bath Marketing Consultancy’s opinion, the objectives of an advertising campaign may need the following –
1. To support a brand by stressing its advantages
2. To attack a competitor (directly or indirectly!) and hence increase market share
3. To increase total sales by aiming to increase market share within the existing market
4. To co-operate with producers of jointly used products = mutual approval
5. To appeal to a new segment or market
6. To convey and image of the firm rather than an actual product/service
7. To support a particular marketing strategy
8. To support a decision to buy after the purchase has actually been made
Most advertising does much more than maintain an existing position, but I feel it should be an essential part of an organizations overall marketing strategy for areas like brand loyalty are very fickle and hence, organizations need to continue to remain “on radar” with their customers and prospects. I am not saying that regular advertising will bring you one step closer to retirement; more that it certainly has a place within your marketing activity so dismiss it at your peril.