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  • Writer's pictureDennis Toh

Five Challenges Faced By SMEs in the Increasingly Digital Marketplace

If you want to survive in today's evolving marketplace, you will have to keep yourself updated with the ever-changing digital world. It may be an easy task for the big corporations having a 300-strong marketing division to call on, but light and nimble businesses face a lot of challenges to keep up with the ever-changing marketplace.

Smaller businesses are always faced with the challenge of keeping a new generation of customers who are raised in a world of instant gratification satisfied all the time in order to generate enough revenue to stay alive.

This article sheds some light on the latest trends faced by the SMEs in today's evolving business world. If you are a small business owner, you can use these tips to streamline your business operations in order to stay ahead of the curve.

1. Connecting V/S Broadcasting

There is no denial that content plays a vital role in today's digital marketplace and it is regarded as the king, but too much content is just noise. There is a very fine line between providing your customers quality but the limited content and making sure not to subject your audience to an overwhelming amount of marketing material and gimmicks.

Most of the small businesses provide engaging and high-quality content to their customers with doing the necessary research to understand their target market. This type of approach and effort fails to deliver the desired results. For example, if you are in the business of selling kids clothing, you need to narrow it down to 5-12 years old kids instead of targeting a campaign at children of all ages. While generating your content, you need to take into account the location, romantic interests, and various other socioeconomic factors into account. Supplement your marketing efforts with a well-planned digital advertising budget.

In case you do not possess the necessary in-house expertise to design and launch a fully customized digital approach, you can consider hiring a digital media agency to perform this task for you.

2. The Benefits Of Integrated Campaigns

As a result of the proliferated communication channels available to the brands these days, it becomes hard for the businesses to decide whether to go with above-the-line tactics or below-the-line marketing tactics. As a result of this confusion, many businesses often confine their campaign strategy to wholly online or offline exposure.

The best way to plan an effective marketing campaign is to spread the content and other mechanics across all possible online and offline channels. This will help you:

 increase visibility

 strengthen branding

 establish uniformity across all platforms

A good way to do this is to combine your online image album with an in-store physical guestbook. You can encourage your customers to sign on the guestbook and also provide some basic information. You can use this information to boost your online digital mailing list.

In order to attract more customers to participate in your campaign, you need to clearly state the potential gains or prizes. This way you will be able to pull those customers who are on the fence and still undecided whether to participate in your campaign or not.

3. Invest In The Right Talent

In order to maximize their profits, many of the small businesses make the mistake of compromising their conservative headcount. This often leads to more workload, reduced energy levels, and lowered productivity rates of the employees. As a result of this pressure, many employees start to think about leaving their jobs and look for better options that offer a healthy work-life balance. The business owners are now faced with a new problem to solve.

High staff turnover is not a good sign for many new businesses as they have to spend time and resources once again to fill those empty slots and train their new employees. Besides that high turnover also puts a negative effect on the team as a whole as the morale of the other employees and remaining staff starts to go down and they have to do the extra work until those empty slots are filled.

A good way to resolve this high turnover issue is to hire a team of interns to handle some of the workload. While hiring these interns, the businesses should select only those interns which are suitable for the business model.

Whether you are thinking about recruiting permanent employees or filling those empty slots with a team of interns, it is always a good idea to hire the services of a professional recruitment agency. This will not only save you a lot of time that you spend interviewing those candidates, it will also ensure that you hire the best fit for the job.

4. Invest In The Right Tools

There are plenty of software solutions available in the market these days that can help small businesses perform a lot of business related tasks with great ease and efficiency. By using these software programs, you can perform a lot of tasks such as:

 manage your growing customer database in an effective way

 keep your internal files secure and accessible

 keep the team working together towards a unified goal

 reach your customers with creative content

Some of these software solutions are out of the reach of many small businesses, so instead of spending a huge budget on purchasing these expensive software programs, you can look for the free versions. Once you are well-versed and at ease with using the free version, you can always upgrade the software to a premium version. For example, a trial version of Hootsuit is easily available on the net and can be downloaded and used anytime you want.

Although this trial version will boost your social media presence considerably, upgrading it to the Premium version will provide you with an impressive arsenal of social media options that can be used to skyrocket your online presence.

However, before you decide to purchase these software solutions, you should take time and honestly appraise your business needs. Storing all your important files on a secure cloud system is a good and reliable way. You as well as your employees will be able to access this data from any device and anytime.

5. Experiment With Niche And Upcoming Platforms

The latest research suggests that a huge majority of businesses use the same two or three social media platforms to boost their online presence and connect with potential customers. In Singapore, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are considered the hot favorites. Companies focus all their efforts and spend their entire marketing budget on these three popular social media platforms only.

Trying and experimenting with niche and upcoming platforms to reach potential customers can sometimes yield unexpected results. Some of the promising social media platforms that you can try to enjoy better conversion rates and customer acquisition figures are:

 Snapchat

 Tumbler


 Google+

 LinkedIn

As a small business owner, you do not have to push hard to swim against the current in order to survive the intense online competition, you can sustain a decent online presence and even take on a leading position of authority in your industry by just keeping ahead of the wave.

By following the tips and tricks that have been shared in this article, you can keep your nose ahead of your competitors without spending a lot of money and resources.

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