Small medium enterprises in Singapore face a common problem: it’s the cost of SME marketing. When starting out, small medium business owners worry about getting into the press, getting the word out of their service to the public, advertising costs, flyers, brochures, referrals… the list goes on.
You can I will agree that without marketing, a business can’t survive.
Coke spend millions a year on advertising. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, believed a great product has to be combined with great marketing. Without marketing, Apple products would not have still sold in the billions. Through great marketing, Apple became one of the most valuable brands of the century.
However, can your prioritise your marketing efforts?
Should you be getting Facebook fans, or should you be using SEO services to rank in Google? Facebook fans, after all, look good right?
Two years ago, I built two websites, and a blog attempting to market dating and relationship courses to the Singapore male market. I had zero knowledge on SEO, customer acquisition, unique selling proposition, market positioning, copywriting, advertising, and all technical business terms you hear thrown around… by fanciful businessmen.
Needless to say, I didn’t get much traffic into my websites.
You Need a SME Marketing Plan
What’s a customer acquisition plan:
- Creating a content marketing strategy around keywords with potential buyers intent, tracking click through rates, landing page conversions and sign up rates
- Increased targeted traffic through long tail keywords
- Running paid campaigns and tracking click through rates, landing page conversion
Customer acquisition plans amount to any activity that leads to customers enquries and eventually a sale.
What’s not a customer acquisition plan:
- Redesigning your website hundreds of times over
- Calling up your friends and relatives and asking if they need your service or might know someone that might need your service
Building Marketing Systems to Target Hungry Buyers
Instead of running around acquiring customers through randomly giving out flyers. You should focus on building marketing systems that targets a laser targeted audience. That means reaching out to audiences that already has a buyer’s intent.
There are companies and coaches that focus on providing the best coaching, without putting themselves infant of the right targeted audience. They try to get the best instructors, coaches, instrument, and inventory, without understanding all these efforts do not lead to sales, and ultimately cash flow for their business.
Telemarketing, brochures, Facebook advertising are all forms of marketing that can incredibly powerful if done right. These are outward bound marketing methods. This is different from inbound marketing strategies. I’d an advocate of inbound marketing strategies for one reason: people don’t like to be sold, they like to buy: That’s the equivalent of inbound marketing.
All of us agree that all businesses require marketing to a certain extent, be it digital marketing or traditional marketing. So, how do digital marketing strategies compare against traditional marketing? Let’s break it down into dollars and sense.
1) The Cost of Mainstream Marketing
That’s a whooping $4000 for a 120 seconds spot.
Compare this to a popular digital marketing strategy: pay per click advertising. You can also adjust the budget to your own company’s needs and budget. You can go up to $20 a day, which is $600 a month.
There’s the high cost of production involved when producing a television commercial. First, you have to hire a marketing agency to shoot your television commercial, and then you have to purchase the $4000 dollars spot. Unless you’re high funded, most start-ups or small businesses can save cost using inbound marketing methods such as SEO.
2) The Degree of Control
There many variables you can test and control with digital marketing. You can change your marketing offer on your landing page. You can adjust and change the message of the advertisement. You can also change the budget of your advertisement. You can make changes instantaneously. You can test out different copies a month. You can’t do this with the mainstream marketing channels such as television or radio.
When using pay per click, your advertisement is only limited to certain search queries. You control the audience you’re sending your advertisement out to. Whereas in television advertising you’re blasting it to whoever that’s watching. You’re showing the advertisement to people who may or may not care about your product or service.
It’s all about your audience.
Furthermore, Singapore is also internet friendly:
- The population in Singapore was 5.4 million in 2013 and there were 4 million users on the internet.
- That’s roughly about 80% of the population.
- Google remains the most popular Search Engine in Singapore. 74% of Singaporeans uses social media regularly.
Gary Vaynerchuk notoriously claimed that traditional advertising has no place in today’s world. He claims those are ‘commercials that no one gives a shit about’. He believes that capital and effort put into Yellow Pages, radio advertisements and bad commercials can be re-invested into hiring a team to handle social media outlets such as Twitter.
Honestly, who gives a shit about all these political correct advertisements. Why not hire 7 people to manage your social media accounts that give a shit about your end user rather than spend thousands of dollars on advertisement commercials that no one gives a shit about?
– Gary Vaynerchuk – Digital Marketing Agency Owner
No Budget to Go On Channel 5?
No budget at all? You can learn how do do SEO yourself, applying SEO strategies for your website and climb the ranks in Google’s results. Small medium enterprises don’t lose out to huge companies on Google. Brian Dean, ranks higher in the search engine results above giants such as Wikipedia.
Let’s take a look at a simple example of a private doctor who wants to open up his own small medium enterprise practice in the heartlands of Singapore.
He can create content through a blog or Youtube channel on how to take care of basic sprains, colds and educating the online public on viruses and more. He can then distribute content on Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, PinInterest, and WordPress.
His site can be differentiated by being more personalized than Raffles Medical as he doesn’t have to care about brand image, corporate structure.
On the other end, Raffles Medical will not be able to leverage on social media and the internet because of bureaucracy and corporate structure. They are a huge company that’s listed on the stock exchange and it’s of shareholders interest to present a professional and branded image of the company to the public.
Do You Have a Plan, a Low Cost one Preferably?
So ultimately, whats your plan to get leads?
Telemarketing, brochures, referrals? Or are you going to focus on inbound marketing methods such as SEO or social media? Can your marketing cost be measured? Is there a return on investment on your marketing efforts? Or perhaps, you should you train your staff, instead of hiring an SEO consultant. Or can you execute on a combination of paid and free strategies?
I might be being biased here, but I prefer SEO because it’s invest time and effort into building a system that is going to reap me rewards for years after.