The landscape of small businesses has changed dramatically in terms of where, how and when they shop, work, and sell. Big brand marketers have a huge opportunity to help small businesses plan, execute, and optimize their “what’s next?”. How can big brands support the pivot journey?
“We have expanded to multiple geographies and I expect that my business will also serve an broader national or international market. Understanding cultural differences, language barriers, time zones differences and adapting pricing to currencies for different countries are some of the challenges.” – Cargo Panelist
B2SB marketers are big brand marketers who start, refine, or finalise marketing plans for their 2022 SMB plans. One key ingredient to strategies and plans is building the framework for an editorial calendar. To date, 90% North American small businesses are either in the middle or planning a pivot as they enter 2022. They don’t know where to begin or what to do to assist them. This is the biggest obstacle to their progress or preventing them from taking action. The Covid-class, which saw a record number of small businesses start in the past 20 months, is a significant boost to the entrepreneurial spirit that has been declining for four decades.
With this in mind, here’s six pivotal SMB areas where big brands can play an important role.
1. Digitisation. SMBs are undergoing a rapid digital transformation. This includes digitizing business operations and going cashless with transactions and experiences. It is crucial for them to survive, thrive, and prosper in 2022.
2. Online business. Although many SMBs had been doing business online for some time, it wasn’t always their primary method of delivering their products and services. SMBs have seen a seismic shift in consumer behavior after the pandemic. They now compete with many other businesses online, making it clear that they must improve their game.
3. Globalization. SMBs can now market and sell globally due to digitalisation. Sixty-eight percent of SMBs intend to sell internationally in the future, which is twice as many than those who sold abroad before the pandemic. They face many obstacles, such as difficulties finding labor and logistics, knowledge gaps, and language barriers.
4. WFA ). Work from anywhere more than 40% of SMBs will make WFA permanent by 2022. and other organizations know that a hybrid work style is an option, particularly for GenY/Z workers. WFA has placed additional pressure on technology, security and management – basically all areas of business operations for SMBs, as well as all topics where big brands are able to help.
5. Mobilisation. We are in the “customer expectation” economy. All aspects of the buying process are controlled by consumers. Speed, convenience and frictionless transactions all play a critical role. Recent studies have shown that consumers are more likely to pay for superior experiences than better products and services. Some SMBs have started to mobilize their businesses to bring their products, services and experiences to customers instead of trying to get them to come to them. This mobilisation of their business, like WFA, requires better tech, efficient logistics and more frictionless customer and employee experiences.
6. Agility. Change is the only constant during the pandemic. SMBs, like all businesses, were caught flatfooted by lockdowns. They were not prepared for the disruptions that occurred over the past 2 years. When you consider that more than 50% of SMBs were not adversely affected by the pandemic and that over 40% are doing well since lockdowns began you realize that successful SMBs were those that were able to adapt quickly to market and customer needs. This agile mentality must be part of the DNA for SMBs moving forward, so that macro influences beyond their control don’t affect their success.
“People work better at home.” We allowed them to choose, and people stopped coming into the office. So we did not renew the lease.” – Cargo “Small Talk”, SBO Panelist
These are six key points. Not to mention the many other adjustments SMBs are making as they prepare for ‘what’s next? in 2022 and beyond. SMBs now know that they cannot rely solely on their own resilience, instincts, capabilities, passion and ability to succeed in the new world. They are reaching out to big brands and asking for their help. Is B2SB Marketing ready for the ‘what’s next?