I’m not small. I’m concentrated awesome.

Small but mighty

5 reasons why small businesses can outmanoeuvre the Goliaths when it comes to marketing

Some smaller businesses feel that because of their size, they lack the marketing punch larger multinational organisations might command. You may not have the budget but your marketing can be just as effective, if not more so. I’ve worked for small companies and I’ve worked for large ones and what you might be lacking in funds, you can make up for in innovation, speed and agility.

Here are 5 reasons why size is irrelevant when it comes to marketing might:

  1. Agility:  If there’s an unexpected change in the market or new legislation throws a spanner in your business plan then small companies can turn on a sixpence and market accordingly.  It’s easier to get your house in order, prepare a statement, rework presentations and sales materials, update your website, brief staff etc in a company of, say, 20 than a company of thousands.
  2. Speed: This is related to agility and recognises that with fewer people in the mix, marketing doesn’t have to suffer the long, drawn-out process of multi-departmental sign-off and decision-making by committee.  Small businesses can be quick off the mark and get that great marketing idea developed and out the door before competitors, reaping the rewards of first-mover advantage.
  3. Consistency:  One area of marketing larger companies struggle with is maintaining a consistent message across all of their marketing channels and ensuring their many brand ambassadors (e.g. employees) stick to the script.  You may have the perfect product, the best service and the most compelling unique selling point (USP) but if you don’t talk and write about it in a coherent, consistent way then it’s a moot point.  The message is diluted and lost to your customers in the quagmire of competing voices.
  4. Innovation: Ever produced your best work under pressure? Necessity sometimes is the mother of invention and you might find that being a smaller company with limited marketing resources drives greater innovation.  This might be a controversial one, but smaller companies can, in some ways, take bigger risks.  It’s not so easy to take a risky marketing decision in a big company when you’re battling against ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ mentality and a long-standing conservative culture.  And sometimes, the bigger the marketing risk, the bigger the revenue reward.
  5. Personality.  Generally people follow people rather than faceless brands.  People like to follow the CEO or head of sales of a company rather than a logo.  If your brand has bags of personality then this might not be the case (take Nutella’s Facebook page as an example). As a start-up you’re effectively working with a blank canvas and can spend time honing a genuine corporate personality and tone of voice that you can use from the start vs. a more established business that might need to go through a costly, wider re-brand.

So don’t write-off your marketing efforts just because you feel you can’t compete with the big boys. You can. And you can do it well, outmanoeuvring the clumsier corporations and quick-stepping your way to original, credible and, most importantly, profitable marketing success.