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CMOCouncil-Enterprise-Marketers-Changing-Media-Mix-Targeting-SMBs-Jan2014Enterprise-level marketers who sell to the SMB market are planning to make interesting changes to their media mix, according to a new study from the CMO Council sponsored by Penton. With a plurality 63% of these marketers only moderately satisfied with their current marketing and media mix, it’s no surprise that their strategies are ripe for change. But not all of the results are expected.

For example, it’s probably not a surprise that marketers focused on the SMB market will be upping their use of mobile messaging. (That’s by an estimated 145%, essentially meaning they’ll more than double their use of the channel in the future.) But with SMBs planning to increase their social presences, it’s somewhat counter-intuitive to see that enterprise marketers plan to pull back on their use of social media, albeit by a small amount. Similarly, while it’s certainly no surprise to see planned use of online content syndication on the rise, the results showing a planned pull back in a variety of other online channels (such as online ad networks) are more curious. That’s particularly the case because separate results from the study indicate that many enterprise marketers are looking to undertake more personalized and relevant communication with SMBs, which would suggest a stronger focus on more targeted online channels.

The study finds that unlike other traditional media such as print magazines (average decline of 32%), newspapers (-24%) and radio (-22%), enterprise marketers will be using TV a little more as a medium for reaching SMBs. This may be due to a reluctance to abandon the key branding power offered by TV, particularly as respondents to the study don’t believe that SMB buyers and customers hold very favorable views of big brands. Indeed, only 30% feel that their targets view big brands very positively (5%) or favorably (25%). And while a plurality 36% think that SMBs’ sentiment is “reasonably” good, about 1 in 4 think that SMBs approach big brands cautiously.

Other Findings:

  • The top ways in which respondents are gaining competitive advantage in the SMB market are by developing new strategies and approaches (60%) and by creating new partnerships and alliances (47%). Fewer (25%) are doing so by embracing new interactive digital media channels.
  • More than 4 in 10 are differentiating their products or services by offering service and support benefits (43%), while 27% are offering product adaption and add-ons and 22% value-added bundling.

About the Data: The data is based on an online audit taken by 160 senior marketing executives selling to small businesses. 39% represent organizations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, and 60% allocate up to 40% of their overall marketing expenditures to SMB-specific campaigns or programs.

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