Marketing – The bread and butter for SME Businesses

Building and managing a business is not for the faint of heart. It takes incredible determination, skill, and no small amount of luck. While a unique and enticing product or service may help separate a small business from the crowd, it will take more than a clever idea for a business to become successful on both a local and global scale.

While there are many key factors that go into a successful business, one that is often neglected, or put at the very bottom of “To Do” lists, is marketing. Business marketing so frequently takes a back seat and gets budget cuts so that product research and development, customer service, and actual buildings can be focused on first. Unfortunately, these cuts may seem successful initially and may solve a few small problems, but the truth is marketing is really the bread and butter for SME businesses.

Business Marketing In a Nutshell

Around fifteen years ago, business marketing was completely different than it is today. Thanks to the integration of the internet in everyday lives, marketing has gotten a lot more expansive – allowing businesses not only to reach millions of customers within their country, but also on a more global aspect as well. Unfortunately, with the integral part of marketing that the internet is playing, it also makes business marketing very complex and multifaceted.

The idea of business marketing is to promote and sell their products and services to customers. These customers can be other businesses, normal individuals, or individuals within a business or organization that make decisions on behalf of their employer. The strategies used to promote and engage existing customers and potential customers about various products and services will vary depending on who the target audience is; however whether it is B2B (business to business) or simply marketing to the general public, understanding there are a few key components of business marketing that do not change.

Business Marketing Plan

Components of a business marketing plan

  1. Outline your goals of marketing – what are you looking to achieve?
  2. Determine your target audience – crucial so that you don’t end up throwing countless dollars into an ineffective marketing campaign
  3. Methods for marketing – content marketing. social media, magazines, news, email newsletters, how are you going to reach your target audience?
  4. Implementation and reporting – make sure that your marketing is meeting your expected goals and, if not, consider revising it or determining where there are issues.

Why Marketing is crucial for success

Successful marketing does so much in the way for a business aside from just selling products. A common misconception is that business marketing is only about promoting and selling products, however it is so much more than that! Below are just a few of the benefits that a successful marketing campaign can provide for a business.

Spreading the word

For a business to be successful on any scale, it is crucial for potential customers to know about it first. While they may not be directly inclined to buy a product, if they know of the products and services that are provided by a business, they can refer friends or family members, or simply go back on a later date to purchase the products/services.


 Yes marketing is not all about sales, but it does have a huge effect on the amount of sales if it is done properly. Higher sales means more profits means more of a budget for a business to expand – so obviously marketing is definitely a must. Once potential customers know about your business, they are more likely to purchase from you and spread the awareness themselves to others who may purchase from you. More sales means that you have more customers who can be turned into loyal customers that continue to purchase from you and promote your products/services through their own positive experiences with your company.


While marketing does lead to higher sales and more recognition, one of the most helpful side effects of a great marketing plan is that your businesses reputation increases. This is because the name of your company and the products/services that are marketed to customers becomes something that they remember. When they remember your company name, logo, or slogan then your reputation and awareness dramatically increases which, in turn, increases sales. Making sure that when a marketing campaign sets the expectations for the products and services high, that the company meets them else that reputation can turn to sour and be used in a negative way!


Lastly marketing ensures that there is fair and healthy competition in the business world. When customers see only one business marketing for a particular product/service it becomes almost like a monopoly, however should your business begin offering better rates and higher quality products and services similar to the previous business, this opens up the opportunity for healthy competition between businesses and the opportunity to begin converting loyal customers from competitors to your own loyal customers.

Common Misconceptions about marketing

One of the most common misconceptions about marketing is that it is all about driving up sales – which is often why smaller businesses put it on the backburner to focus on other essential business factors. Fortunately, marketing does so much more for a business than just increase sales. As you saw above marketing can dramatically increase awareness of the business, reputation and brand recognition, and also encourage healthy competition between other businesses offering similar products and service.

Another common misconception is that marketing is ALL about new customers and getting them to buy products. Taking an approach to only focus on a new customer is one way to ensure that a business marketing plan is not only less effective, but not reaching its full potential!

Previous customers need to be addressed in marketing campaigns because they play a huge role. Not only are they a source of free and indefinite marketing (especially if you’ve wildly impressed them with your product/service), but they are far more likely to purchase from you than a new customer is!

Here is a very interesting statistic that was done after extensive research in business marketing and new versus returning customers:

An existing or previous customer purchasing again from a business is around 60-70%. On the other hand, a new customer purchasing from a business is as low as 5% and as high as 20%.

The whole idea here is not to completely ignore new customers and avoid marketing to them, but to understand the absolutely significant role that existing customers can play in your marketing scheme. Existing customers who are loyal and continue to purchase from you are going to tell anywhere from 5+ people about their experience (especially if there was an issue that was resolved in a positive way)! This means that you can focus more on current and previous customers, increase their quality of service and still ensure that you’re marketing, inadvertently, towards new customers by doing so!

Inhouse Marketing vs Outsourcing

Inhouse marketing vs Outsourcing

Now that you understand just how important marketing is and a bit about who you should target your marketing efforts towards, you may be wondering how to set up your marketing team or even if you should just outsource all of the work instead. Admittedly, considering the pros and cons of in house marketing versus outsourcing can be difficult, but it will largely depend on your current staffing, the size of your business, and the budget allotted for marketing.

Current Staffing

To have a successful in house marketing set up, you need highly trained and highly enthusiastic staff as well as a very knowledgeable marketing manager. Marketing is a multifaceted feat that cannot be managed by one person successfully, especially for a growing business.

If you already have the staff in place for some in house marketing, then you need to designate it to them on a full time basis. Marketing, as you saw, plays a massive role in your businesses success so it is crucial that the staff is giving their full attention to it.

Should you lack the staff necessary to have an adequate in house marketing team set up, then you need to consider whether or not you have a budget that allots for the salaries of these individuals. If, on the other hand, you simply don’t have space or budget to accommodate an actual team, then outsourcing your businesses marketing may be the perfect solution to achieving the results you want and growing your business.

Business Size

The size of the business will also dramatically affect the marketing needs. If the business is currently a one or two person start up business, then there is likely almost no budget for marketing – meaning that any in house marketing will have to be done by the actual business owners and even outsourcing may be neigh impossible on such a small budget. Growing businesses with several employees and maybe one or two locations, on the other hand, may well be able to afford the budget for an outsourced marketing team. Since marketing is essential it is crucial for knowledgeable individuals to handle it, yet if there isn’t enough of a budget in place for a full team, then outsourcing is going to be an incredibly beneficial and viable solution.

Business Growth


So much about determining whether or not to have an in house marketing team or to outsource determines on a business’s budget, which is why most small and medium sized businesses are wisely electing a qualified and experienced company to handle their marketing. Larger corporations and global businesses make enough of an annual profit to support a flourishing in house marketing team, but the fact is that most small and medium sized businesses need that extra budget money to focus on so many other things. Since marketing should never be neglected, and should never be handled by untrained individuals, outsourcing is the perfect solution for small and medium sized businesses looking to dramatically expand and grow.

Benefits of Outsourcing your marketing

We’ve talked a lot about how outsourcing a business’s marketing is the key to a small and medium businesses success, but let’s take a closer look at exactly why.

More affordable – when you compare your marketing needs to that of the salary you’d have to allot for an entire team of individuals, you likely are going to save an impressive amount of money on outsourcing your marketing needs to a qualified company.

Experts and qualified professionals – just as you are an expert on your products and service that you provide, marketing companies are experts at what they do. Individuals employed at marketing companies spend their time learning about new marketing techniques, helping grow other businesses by marketing, and are acutely familiar with all of the ins and outs of marketing – something that only comes with years of experience and knowledge.

Less office space – having in house marketing specialists means you are going to have to delegate office space to the team and ensure that they have all of the proper materials and work stations to continue their work.

Guaranteed results – when dealing with outsource companies that specialize in business marketing, there are generally various contracts and guarantees that are signed before any work begins. This allows a business owner to know that there are certain obligations that the company must meet and that the marketing company has a fiduciary responsibility to them. Because from a marketing company’s standpoint – when a business grows and sees the results of the marketing campaign, they are more likely to continue using that service and invest more money into it.

As you now know, marketing plays a vital role in a business’s growth, reputation, brand recognition, and sales. It is absolutely crucial for a business to allot some of their budget (no matter how small it is) into marketing because of the massive increase in customers and awareness that results from it. Unfortunately for most small and medium sized businesses, having an in house marketing team can easily blow any budget by a long shot, but hiring an experienced and trusted marketing company to outsource the work can ensure that the same phenomenal results in growth and sales is seen at a fraction of the cost.

If you’ve put marketing on the back burner like so many other businesses have, then consider outsourcing your marketing – you could be amazed at the results!

Have you outsourced any of your marketing before

EliteWriter Content Writing Services



Mommy to a pigeon pair, blogger and online marketer. Lover of chocolate, good books and buckets of coffee.


  1. Internet marketing has definitely changed a lot over the years. In the first few years of Google’s existence, it was a lot easier to trick your way to the top of the rankings. Their algorithm was very simple back then, so you could get to the top just by repeating the keyword many times in your text. You could hide the text with a white font colour. As recently as 2008 I managed to get an ad on USFreeAds straight to the top of Google by doing just that, and then USFreeAds quickly pulled my ad when they realised.

    But also backlinks used to be a big thing around that time. It used to be easy to shoot to the top of Google just by throwing a bunch of fake backlinks towards a site. That kind of technique became history several years ago. There is now some debate over whether people should still bother to get backlinks. Some people say it’s fine as long as you’re careful, but others say that if you write great content and share it on social media then people will want to link to it naturally anyway, and those are the best kind of backlinks.

    So these days, great content is what it is all about. Of course, there are a lot of other marketing techniques surrounding that, such as videos, social media, and email marketing. But great content is always the starting point. Content writing is definitely something that a lot of people like to outsource once they have the spare money to scale their internet business up. That frees up a lot of time for people to do other things for their business.

    • Hi Marcus

      Yes the debate about whether backlinks are still good for SEO is always on isn’t it?

      There is no doubt that a few years back backlinks were the way to go, but now it is easy to do damage to your website by building low quality links so there is a risk involved.

      I totally agree that if you create great quality content people will want to link to you so your backlinks will be built naturally.

      It is not easy to always create quality content on a regular basis so I totally agree, finding a great content writing and outsourcing some of your work will be a really good move for a blogger.

  2. Great article on the importance of business marketing Lynne. Sometimes, we’re so focused on other aspects of running our business, that we forget all about marketing.

    My parents have a small business that they had no marketing budget for. I decided to step in and help them out by creating a website for their business, and now they are doing much better. People know who they are, where to find them, and what they have to offer.

    What’s your favorite part about marketing?

    Thank you for sharing Lynne,

    • Hi Diana

      That is awesome that you could do that for your parents. Every business should have a website in these times! The best part is that you don’t have to be a web developer these days to set up a website, you can easily build a website from scratch in seconds!

      My favorite thing about online marketing, oh wow just one thing? Ok just one, then I would have to say that I love the way that online marketing is so versatile, you can do almost anything from your couch and reach people all over the world. It is so different from the way marketing was 20 years ago. Your reach is only limited by your imagination.

  3. I have been interest in business for many years now, and have always dream of one day owning my own business. Marketing is the heart beat and breath of every business and therefore careful planning should be use when marketing your business because this is what makes or breaks your business. I like how you break down and explain all this stuff about business, everything is so easy to read and understand. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Norman,I am glad you enjoyed this article.

      I hope you take the leap to starting your own business, is there something in particular that is holding you back?

  4. What you mention about marketing is so true how most of us have focused on creating a site and trying to get all the pieces together and leaving the marketing to the end. No matter how great your site can look and how great your content is if you do not have proper marketing to get the traffic to your doorstep then nobody knows what you have to offer.

    I like the fact of how you address this issue and what to see about doing to rectify what you need to do to make your business successful. I know I need to start getting in gear with proper marketing procedures now. Look forward to your next posts that always seem so helpful.

    • Hi Travis,

      I am glad you found this post useful, marketing is a huge part of any business, both online and offline!

  5. Wow, you’re so right about everything! I realized after reading your post about how important marketing is. I also always used to think it was about sales but I was not doing any business myself. Now I have an online business and I’m looking for some marketing tips and stumbled upon your site. What great information! I will certainly bookmark this!

    Thanks for the great info!

    • Hi Reyhana

      Yes it is easy to think that focusing on sales is the way to go. Marketing is something that should be done all the time with short term and long term goals set out. Often with marketing the results take a while i being realized, but it is well worth the wait.

  6. Hi Lynne,

    Marketing is a very complex issue by itself due to ever-changing technologies and the need to stay abreast of it. Take the past 10 to 15 years alone barely any SEO marketing and social media did nt exist back then! And internet marketing was just a rapidly growing baby.

    The debate of black hat Vs White hat for SEO will always exist, as will that importance of backlinks and setting up of PBN’s, to allow you control of your links (essentially a grey hat technique).

    What will not change is the importance of marketing and quality professionals in that field to any business, be it an online or an offline business.

    Excellent article, loved it!

    • Hi Derek

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, and yes you are so right there are so many debates going on with backlinks and with PBN’s (private blog networks). PBN’s give great SEO juice to your website, provided of course that Google doesn’t catch up with that PBN and penalize those websites.

      Yes the game of marketing has changed with technology and the internet, it has made it so much easier to reach a much wider audience if you put some work into online marketing.

Comments are closed.