What Is An Effective Marketing Strategy For SMEs?

What Is An Effective Marketing Strategy For SMEs? - Moniedism

SMEs, especially the manufacturing industry, focused on the business style of manufacturing parts as instructed by the ordering party as a major subcontractor. Service industries such as retailers also generally have a style of continuously conducting business targeting specific customers in a relatively narrow trade area. Therefore, it can be said that the so-called marketing function was not so necessary for SMEs.

However, as the business environment changes, even small and medium-sized enterprises need to develop original products and services and work to develop new sales channels. Consider a marketing strategy that works for SMEs.

What is marketing?

The idea of   marketing is said to have been born in the United States over a century ago. It's a bit of a historical story, but the Industrial Revolution that began in England in the 18th century dramatically improved the efficiency of product production. The United Kingdom exported mass-produced industrial products to overseas colonies and sold them.

The United States, which was industrialized behind Britain, had few colonies, and companies needed to develop a domestic market. Therefore, marketing ideas and methods were born for the purpose of efficiently producing and selling the required products.

Since then, society and the economy have changed drastically, and marketing theories and methods have evolved by incorporating the results of various disciplines such as psychology, mathematics, sociology, and economics, but the basis is still the "selling mechanism." Is to think about. "Selling" means satisfying the needs of your customers and getting them to buy your products and services, whether you are a consumer, a company, or an organization.

Therefore, marketing starts with customer needs. Marketing is premised on customer orientation.

Current status and challenges of marketing in SMEs

Marketing of small and medium-sized enterprises is said to have various issues compared to large enterprises.

One is lack of awareness of marketing. Many large companies focus on marketing and spend their budget analyzing markets and customers to reach new markets and customers.

On the other hand, many SMEs rely on specific technologies, products, and services to do business. Rather than trying to expand the business through marketing, we tend to prioritize protecting the current business.

In the first place, small and medium-sized enterprises whose business scale is not so large cannot spend much budget on marketing. There is also a tendency for there to be a shortage of human resources with marketing expertise and know-how within the company.

In recent years, marketing-related IT systems such as customer information management systems and advertising effectiveness measurement systems have been rapidly developing, but small and medium-sized enterprises have not been able to introduce or utilize such IT systems due to lack of budget and manpower. ..

As usual, when it comes to sales, salespeople visit each other to negotiate business, and product development and promotion are not based on data analysis, but tend to rely on the experience and intuition of the person in charge.

Benefits of SMEs working on marketing

Marketing is not just sales or advertising, but one of the important business activities related to corporate management strategy. From now on, even small and medium-sized enterprises should actively engage in marketing, and it can be said that there is "growth" because they have not put much effort into it.

The advantages of using marketing for SMEs are as follows.

1. Effective utilization of management resources

Compared to large companies, SMEs have limited management resources such as human resources, funds, technology, and brand power. Marketing is useful for connecting the limited management resources to sales and profits.

In other words, we search for customer needs through various marketing methods and match those needs with our strengths and characteristics. Then, we will improve and improve our products and services and develop new businesses to strengthen our relationships with our customers.

2. Strengthening corporate branding

Corporate branding is not only about products and services that customers directly touch, but also through various activities such as pamphlets, websites, and telephone support.

Using marketing perspectives and methods to promote corporate branding in a unified manner will not only enhance the competitiveness of the company, but will also have a great effect internally, such as securing human resources.

3. Corporate growth

If marketing makes effective use of management resources and strengthens in-house branding, it will increase the unit purchase price and purchase frequency of existing customers, and will lead to the acquisition of new customers.

As a result, sales and profits will increase, leading to the growth of the company.

Marketing practices in small businesses

Then, how should we practice marketing concretely in SMEs? Here are some tips.

1. Review of organizational structure

SMEs have limited budgets and resources compared to large companies. It is not realistic to set up a new marketing department or assign a marketing person.

Therefore, let's first consider having top management and sales representatives concurrently serve. However, it is counterproductive if the work load increases due to this. To work on marketing, think about it as a set with reviewing and rationalizing the conventional organizational structure and operations.

2. Acquisition of skills and knowledge

To practice marketing, you need skills and knowledge about various marketing frames and data measurement and analysis. In addition, these skills and knowledge will vary depending on the type of business, business type, and type of main customer.

For example, in a BtoC retail business, consumer-favorite product development and promotion may be important. In the BtoB manufacturing and service industries, it is important to understand the needs of business partners and take an approach that matches the ordering pattern. Based on these differences, we collect information from specialized books and seminars outside the company.

3. Introduction of IT system

In marketing, various measures such as promotion are implemented based on hypotheses, and by repeating adjustments while measuring the effects, accuracy is improved, leading to improvement in customer satisfaction and repeat rate.

MA (Marketing Automation) tools are effective in improving the efficiency of such work. Since daily measures and effect measurement can be automated, many tasks can be performed efficiently even with a small number of personnel.

Moreover, these days, there are some that can be introduced immediately without requiring a large system investment, and some that can be used for about tens of thousands of yen a month if only basic functions are used.

I definitely want to consider it.


Marketing may have been a far cry from small businesses. However, marketing is effective in acquiring repeats by improving customer satisfaction and reviewing the business structure.

Why not start where you can?

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