(I’ve been pleased to contribute to Canadian SME Magazine in its first two issues. Below are the Marketing Tips I developed for the latest issue.)
What is the number one advantage that smaller businesses have in their marketing? Themselves. Larger enterprises struggle to define a brand that represents such a diverse workforce. Smaller businesses, meanwhile, take the imprint of their owners, managers and workers and then projects it outward into a real world brand that is clear and authentic.
Sincerity beats hyperbole. Reality is more powerful than promises. Establish realistic expectations, then over-deliver, instead of setting unachievable expectations that can’t be met. Market to your customers the way you talk to them. Make it personal and relatable. Take pride – in larger businesses so much is out of the individual’s control that it’s difficult to take ownership of an initiative. Smaller businesses succeed because the owners, managers and employees are more accountable to their customers than a larger business can ever be. Don’t be in a hurry to look large – tell your own story. People love the underdog.