Large B2B Marketers Focus on SMBs in 2014

B2B marketing is big business. And the sector will grow this year as larger businesses get serious about targeting small and medium-​sized businesses (SMBs). The Better Traction from Smarter SMB Interaction report from the customerCMO council explains why SMBs are an attractive target for larger businesses and how to increase sales through improved marketing campaigns.

Economists generally believe that SMBs will be a growth engine this year.  During the recession, this sector suffered in terms of business loss and inability to secure lending. While small businesses still face big challenges, they account for:

  • 55% of all jobs
  • 40% of all retail sales

So, it's no surprise that larger businesses are looking for ways to improve customer loyalty and their long-​term relationship with SMBs. For some, the new focus on the SMB market means tweaking existing products and services to be more SMB-​friendly. That usually also means a revised pricing structure. Beyond that, large enterprises know they have a data problem. Fewer than 1/​3 of large marketers have information on SMB buying behavior, purchase decision makers and basic contact information.

About 60% of these enterprises say they’ll dedicate 40% of their marketing budget to SMBs in 2014. However, only 5% say their problems lie with their advertising strategies. While 50% of large businesses use social media to interact with SMBs, only 15% then turn to social media analytics to understand where they can improve the relationship. Here are the strategies that large enterprises are using in the SMB market:

  • Segmentation and targeting 57%
  • Personalized, relevant communication 40%
  • Engaging more effectively online 23%
  • Establishing loyalty, rewards, or VIP programs 9%

As large businesses study their approach to the SMB market, they’ll spend more time deciding which sectors to target.  For example, are restaurants likely to be more lucrative than jewelry stores? Some of the decisions these enterprises make in terms of determining their target audiences will be based on the products and services they offer.

They may also want to know more about the Small Business Owner audience in general. That information can be found in our AudienceSCAN report, available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.