In such uncertain turbulent times, there will be the tendency for many SME business owners and managers to stop all marketing. However, that is the last thing that your SME or start-up should do!
If you have business customers, it is critical now more than ever that you continue to undertake helpful, value-driven marketing to support them.
Doing so is essential to both helping to ensure the survival and continued operation of your SME or start-up and positioning it for further business and growth once the crisis eventually passes.
Here are 5 highly effective & low-cost ways to continue to market your SME or start-up to your business customers
Conduct cross-functional virtual meetings with your customers
- Conduct online cross-functional meetings including marketing, sales, operations from both your company and your customer
- Find out what challenges and/or risks they face
- Identify what they need most:
- Modified products/services?
- Modified or extended hours of operation?
- Additional support such as training, reporting?
Collaborate cross-functionally to plan and execute your B2B marketing
- Hold virtual meetings with your marketing, sales and customers facing teams
- Identify and agree on key customer requirements based on the cross-functional virtual meetings you conducted with them
- Determine your “marketing action plan” to support your customers
- Review, update and repurpose existing content
- Rethink and Revise case studies
- Be sure to highlight important processes and business outcomes delivered
- What new content could your customers use based on their new risks, challenges and priorities
- Think about formats that your customers (and the buyers!) would prefer and can easily consume (eg Videos, Diagrams)
Conduct interviews with suppliers, prospects and industry colleagues
- Interview them on the issues and challenges facing their industry
- Understand what’s needed?
- How have they responded? The Impacts?
- Distribute where your Buyers Go eg on your website, relevant social media channels, industry and professional associations
- Use the responses from the interview to identify other content and messages that would be useful to your key customers and prospects
- Again, promote and distribute these through the channels that your buyers go when seeking information and solutions
Host a virtual roundtable discussion / Q&A
- Invite customers, prospects, suppliers, industry colleagues and even other complementary product and service providers
- Use the session to discuss common challenges, brainstorm ideas for new offerings, business models, processes and solutions that may mutually help all of you to move forward in these challenging times. It’s also a great way to build relationships with existing clients and customers as well as build rapport with prospects
- Record these sessions
- Place them on your website
- Split recordings into smaller segments that you can promote on relevant social media platforms, or include in customer newsletters
Use industry/ professional associations to promote your SME or Startup
- Use them to help promote (or even co-host) a virtual event
- Get them to feature your content that will be helpful to their audiences on their website, social media platforms and in their publications
Supporting your existing clients and prospects is one of the most important activities that you must undertake to ensure the survival of your business.
It will help customers to continue to do business with you (even if it is at reduced levels in the short term) but for additional business and referrals moving forward once the critical periods pass.
Did you find any of these low-cost marketing ideas useful? Have you already implemented them in your business? Let us know in the comments below!
About Michael Haynes
B2B Customer Acquisition & Growth Strategy Consultant
For over 20 years, Michael has worked with micro-businesses to large corporates alike across Australia and Canada, developing and implementing business growth strategies and programs.
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