One of the most basic rules of marketing is that in order to target, reach and pull in your customers, you need to first know exactly who those customers are. The problem is that most marketing executives don’t know nearly as much about small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as they should, which makes creating marketing campaigns for them difficult, to say the least. Considering that SMBs make up a huge segment of the market in North America, that’s a bit of a problem.
Just over half of senior all marketing executives, when polled in the fourth quarter of 2013 by the CMO Council and Penton Media, said that they only had “good data” on transactions that SMB’s were making, as well as their customer support issues and typical behaviors. Even worse, 40% of survey respondents said that when it came to customer contact information, their information was basic at best. Social media? Only 15% were using it to find out more and a paltry 8% had a 360° customer view.
Those are surprisingly low numbers but, to their credit, most of the marketers surveyed were making additional efforts towards segmentation and personalization to connect with SMBs, including more personalized and relevant communications. Still, it’s a tough task when marketers simply don’t have enough data to do it correctly.
Liz Miller, vice president of the CMO Council, says that many large organizations “see the SMB community as one big group, without segmenting within it.” The reason for this, in her opinion, is that it’s very difficult to do otherwise when as many small businesses fail every year as start. In her estimation, marketers should simply look at what they’re doing for large organizations and deliver the same types of data-driven, relevant and personalized messages to their SMB decision makers.