Why medium enterprises are better at marketing

| September 24, 2015

Flashy marketing campaigns have a lot in common with a defective Ferrari. They look slick and they’re hard to miss, with coverage enviably ‘everywhere’. These campaigns look great, but under the hood the brands behind them don’t quite get what they pay for. What’s going wrong?

Medium-sized businesses do not have the same big budget luxury as their larger counterparts, which results in more attention given to where each dollar goes and what the result of that spend is. While big businesses with big budgets can afford to ‘spray and pray’, smaller businesses need to make their smaller budgets more effective and reach the best audience each dollar allows.

The result is that medium businesses tend to launch more targeted campaigns; they cannot afford blanket coverage but instead aim for strategically-placed marketing to attract potential customers first, before raising awareness among the general public.

Having more direct engagement and a targeted PR and marketing approach not only eliminates waste, it also enables medium-sized businesses to remain aware of the needs and specific interests of their ideal client because they are closer to them.

Is there such a thing as too big?

In many corporate entities the PR, marketing and sales functions are located in separate departments, although they are supposed to work together. The PR team’s role includes securing media coverage and managing social media, the marketing team has KPIs, including how many advertisements to book in a range of sectors and for a number of campaigns each year, and the sales team’s focus is on pricing and direct sales.

At best, these teams have synergy, working together to support each other in achieving their discrete though related goals, but in large organisations it’s common to see these departments as silos.

For example, if the PR team reaches its goal of ‘media coverage’, the sales and marketing teams may not be confident that this aligns with the target market and supports marketing campaigns and/or sales pushes. The marketing team’s relationship between the other functions can be amiss too. For example, is the marketing team measuring website hits or enquiries against media coverage, and do sales targets form a part of the marketing team’s tactics? Is the marketing team supporting the sales team in their work?

In a siloed organisation the best you can hope for is each team to achieve their goals individually. More often than not, however, silos breed competition and can often mask inefficiencies; instead of integrating functions, each department jealously guards their contacts and systems. This is where a lot of budget leakage occurs.

Agility is another advantage medium-sized businesses have over their larger counterparts. Being able to mobilise on campaigns faster to take advantage of current events is one way agile brands can become top of mind for a market. The shorter cycle to launch new concepts, adopt new marketing channels and tweak campaigns also helps medium-sized budgets outperform big budgets dollar-for-dollar.

Make a decision

Having a smaller team also supports quicker decision-making. In addition to being able to rapidly adopt new marketing channels, a smaller marketing team can also be more discerning about what to take up because their market is better defined. For example, micro-blogging platform Tumblr recently launched its commercial initiative in Australia, the first country outside the US to involve marketing on the social media channel. It’s exciting news, but while medium-sized businesses will be able to swiftly evaluate whether or not the platform will help them engage with their target market, larger businesses will need to take longer to determine how much value this opportunity might bring because their campaigns are often aimed at a wider audience.

The upshot is that medium-sized businesses are small enough to have personality, soul, authenticity, empathy, outstanding customer service and the other great qualities of a small business that big businesses can’t attain due to size. As a result, they leverage better value for money in their marketing.

So the next time that you compare yourself to a larger business and see the deficiencies of your medium sized business, make sure you see the greater return on investment and qualities that businesses your size are capable of achieving.