What was a US$ 3,800 company called Legend in 1984, is today known as Lenovo – a US$32 billion multinational IT enterprise.
Google Inc. was established in the year 1998 in a garage in California, look at what it has become today!
Achieving this kind of spectacular success is not easy, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Small home-grown businesses are often constrained by man-power and other resources.
Moreover, the competition among SMEs in Southeast Asia where these setups account for more than 96 per cent of all business establishments, is fierce. Securing growth for such startups requires a lot of innovation and agility.
Lately, there has been a lot of dialogue about how technology gives an edge to SMEs and helps them expand their market and generate sales. However, we need to remember that all traditional marketing methods have not gone entirely obsolete.
Tested and tried conventional marketing methods, beautifully tied up with the effective use of technology can work wonders for home-grown businesses.
Events can help you grow
Event Marketing is popularly known as ‘Experiential Marketing’ as it is based on providing an experience rather than a service or product to customers.
This is a popular method of traditional marketing that has proven itself effective time and again.
- A global study conducted by EventTrack reveals that 74% of consumers have a better understanding and improved opinion of a brand after attending an event.
- The same EventTrack study also reveals that around 49% brands that were surveyed achieved up to 5 times the return for the money spent on events, with around 29% receiving an ROI of 10:1.
- Additionally, psychological studies have stated time and again that people need to and like indulging in new experiences.
And, this is why events are great ways to explore new market areas and expand small businesses. To organise a successful business event it is always good to start with clarifying goals, setting KPIs while focusing on customer experience.
Small businesses tend to develop a community, so it is good to reach out to existing customers, website visitors, email subscribers, and social media followers.
Events that have key takeaways like a hamper, goody bag, a free subscription leave a tangible impact on attendees.
Another important aspect is the date, time and venue that has to be decided strategically to ensure attendance. Well-organised events not only help SMEs engage with their customers but enables them to offer a face-to-face interaction to customers.
Cold calls work
Even in the era of AI and cutthroat technology, cold calls work. In fact, according to a study by DiscoverOrg world’s fastest growing companies still rely on cold calls for outbound marketing.
What is cold calling and what are its benefits?
Cold calling (telemarketing) is basically calling up a potential client or customer and pitching sales or other collaborations. The term cold implies that the caller has no prior association with the callee. Cold calling can be an extremely successful way of generating leads and expanding business for small enterprises.
- Personalised Service – Cold calls help you focus on one potential client at a time. Callers can learn the character of the client and adapt their pitch accordingly to offer a personalised service.
- Low cost – Making a call is a low-cost affair. Thanks to free applications like Skype, Zoom, Whatsapp etc, it can actually be free!
- Little or no structural support – Cold calls marketing is perfect for startups and SMEs because it requires little to no structural support. Any trained person can just sit in a room and make calls.
- Instant feedback – Another significant perk of cold calls is that you get instant feedback and can develop a database of potential customers right away.
Telemarketing has a lot of benefits and it is a tested-and-tried conventional marketing tactic.
However, today’s market is aware and busy. You need to be very smart and strategic in handling cold calls.
It is strongly recommended against following a set-script. Telecallers who adapt their pitch according to the callee’s needs and concerns are more likely to succeed.
Good old-fashioned PR never fails
Public Relations (PR) is basically the practice of managing communication channels between an enterprise and the outside world – other companies, customers (potential and existing), target audience, and media. PR is one of the pillars of getting your brand out there.
A strategically-planned PR campaign does not have to be an expensive affair and it can work wonders for small/medium enterprises.
According to a study by Center of Neuroeconomics at Claremont Graduate University, a compelling story can alter brain chemistry, making people more open to new ideas.
Hence, it is important to let your story go out and PR helps you do that in the most effective manners.
Even today, traditional PR remains relevant. If anything, digitalization has increased the scope of conventional PR methods.
- Positive and extensive brand building through crisis communications, reputation management, trade shows, sponsorship opportunities, and press release distribution can widen the reach of a company and maintain its position in the market.
- Press outreach has been among the most prominent initiatives of traditional PR. Today in addition to conventional media like newspapers, television and radio, the online world has opened new platforms like podcasts, blogs, social media, emails, and forums. Get yourself acquainted with the news and find out what shows, blogs, business magazines etc feature people or businesses like yours and then contact them directly.
According to a report by Axia PR, PR has six times the visibility and three times the credibility of advertisements. According to a study, 84%CEOs say that PR, especially press outreach is the most effective way to get the company’s message across.
Developing a qualified PR campaign does not have to be too complex, it can be done by following some simple steps: determine goals, recognise the target audience, develop a compelling brand story (mission, vision, why-we-do-what-we-do), reach out to media outlets and stick to the brand story for all conversations (interviews, newsletters etc).
These simple yet effective traditional marketing hacks can take your business to the next level. These methods are cost-effective and have been applied by companies – big and small – for years, and can definitely help in boosting the growth of SMEs.