Thursday, November 18, 2010

SMEs and the Marketing Woes

Small and Medium Enterprises in India suffer significantly because of lack of marketing knowledge and the inability to market their products properly and comprehensively. This impediment to their development is perhaps deep rooted in the overall marketing philosophy that they follow.

Carrying out an elaborate research is a prerogative of any marketing strategy. This gives you an insight into who your potential customers are and how should they be targeted. SMEs often completely ignore this fact considering it an unnecessary and wasteful activity. This leads to a blurred vision of the overall marketing goals.

Another important aspect of marketing strategy that most SMEs have clearly undermined is segmentation. Segmentation is required to successfully identify and differentiate various customer groups with different preferences. This segmentation is generally based on demographic factors such as age, sex and location or personal factors such as likes and dislikes, habits, lifestyle etc. As the various segmented groups have different preferences, a specialized and separate marketing strategy for each is required. This is where most SMEs falter. They try to target each and every customer group with a universal marketing strategy which eventually fails to appeal to anyone. On the contrary, if SMEs are not capable of targeting various customer groups, they should limit their choice to one or two and focus on them. However, as is evident from the marketing inefficiency of SMEs, they try to target each and everyone in the wrong belief that it would be more productive. But eventually, it becomes counter-productive.

SMEs also fail to create the right positioning for themselves and their products through their marketing efforts. Positioning plays a major role in deciding how your products are perceived by the consumers and what sorts of image do they have regarding you and your products. Creating the right positioning is vital to the success of a marketing campaign as the customer will not be moved by the marketing efforts of the company if it does not create a favorable image in his mind. Most SMEs end up creating the wrong positioning for themselves. This is because they lack the necessary foresight and marketing acumen to create the sort of positioning that would be highly beneficial and productive. By the time, SMEs realize their mistake and set out to create a rightful positioning, it’s already too late. The image, once created in the mind of the customer is very difficult to change, if not impossible. SMEs are left to rue their lot however hard they may try once an initial image has been formed.

SMEs also have a hard time deciding upon the preferred medium of communication. Now, the accurate answer to this important question perfectly lies in the research studies conducted prior to the marketing campaign. But since, SMEs choose to give it a miss, they are left guessing in the dark. As a result, SMEs haphazardly choose a particular medium of communication for their marketing campaign, while altogether ignoring the others. Their decision is generally driven by economic factors as they have to work with limited marketing expenditure. Hence, SMEs tend to prefer the most economical medium of communication, even if it’s not the suitable one to actively promote their products. This decision can seriously backfire and in fact, prove more costly to the SMEs in the long run as it may not deliver the required results.

There are several other marketing errors by SMEs that are brought about by the lack of marketing knowledge or by an unprofessional marketing approach. One of them is undermining the power of internet as a contemporary vehicle for instant visibility and wide reach. Online promotions have the potential to significantly pave the way for SMEs as they are highly economical and suit the needs of the SMEs to the core.

SMEs have also not been able to create productive associations with business development service providers considering it to be a wasteful expenditure. They try to undertake the marketing tasks that only a professional service provider can successfully execute and hence fail miserably. SMEs would do well to realize that their lack of marketing knowledge is perhaps the greatest obstacle in their way to successfully market their products and unless and until they hire the right professionals or the right organization to do the job, their marketing efforts would meet with very little success.

Crystal Hues is an ISO 9001:2008 organization that has been providing Marketing and Advertising services combined with Localization and Translation services for over 20 years. Crystal Hues provides top of the line Marketing and Promotional Services, besides providing Translation and Localization services in more than 70 languages around the world. Crystal Hues has nine offices in Asia staffed with more than 70 professionals, in-house domain experts with varied specialization and several hundreds of quality-verified contracted consultants worldwide.


Post a Comment Powered by