Reasons Why SMEs in Africa Needs Marketing
If you’re starting a small business, a significant factor in its success is your marketing. According to Oxford Dictionaries, marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
Marketing attracts prospects, prospects become buyers, and buyers provide profit. Marketing is more than just putting your business name out into the world.
More about Marketing
According to Forty, marketing is more like food than it is medicine. Without proper marketing, your scope is minimal. Your name gets tossed around once or twice between friends, and then you become vapor in the air between them. Without proper marketing, your business cannot have a lasting impact. Marketing the summation of everything your business can do to build a relationship with its target consumers.
This is more relevant today than ever. When consumers encounter ads at every turn, and businesses are expected to be engaged and responsive. One of the most brilliant things an SME owner can do is take the time to develop a marketing plan. A marketing plan clearly outlines how you will reach your ideal customers by effectively implementing your marketing strategy.
Branding, services, promotions, products, pricing, prints, blogs, advertising, research and social media — all of this is marketing. With all the marketing options out there, it can be difficult for small businesses to know what to do. Marketing is a concentrated effort to push your brand across various platforms.
Marketing gets the word out about your business. It allows you to connect with potential customers and inform them of all the services you offer. It builds brand recognition and fosters healthy competition between businesses. It boosts sales, helps you construct a consistent client base, and helps you make your mark on the world.
Here are six key reasons marketing is so essential for your SME in Africa today:
It helps boost sales
The primary function of marketing for SMEs in Africa and beyond is to generate more sales. Marketing sells your products or services. Commonly, this could be through either selling more to current customers or increasing the number of customers.
Without marketing, businesses wouldn’t exist because no one would buy their products. Marketing utilizes different ways to promote your products or services. Once a product has been advertised, it’s already on the radar, and this increases your chances of selling it.
Customers may want to try your products or services, and this will trigger a purchase decision. When customers are happy about your products or services, they become your brand ambassadors without your knowledge. How marketing does this is by creating variables in one or more of the 4Ps (i.e., product, price, place or promotion).
Sure, you need to have a good product, but if people don’t know about your offerings to begin with, then how can you generate sales? Put simply: You can’t.
It helps you identify and focus on new opportunities
In cases where budgets are low, an effective marketing planning process helps you focus your time and resources on where it will count. This could include developing new product or service offerings, targeting new potential customers. It may also include entering new markets altogether to achieve your overall business objectives.
Marketing also provides many opportunities for SMEs in Africa to earn profits in buying and selling the goods through creating necessary utilities. These new opportunities generate income for your business which can be reinvested with other profits, thereby earning more profits in the future. This identification and creation of new opportunities should be given the most significant importance. Why? More often than not, the business’s very survival would depend on it.
Marketing Helps Your Business Maintain Relevance
In the business world, to be relevant means being an integral part of your organization, your company, the economy, and the future. It means building the kind of brand that others can trust and depend on. Every marketer understands the need for disrupting a potential consumer’s opinion about other products. The challenge often comes when SMEs in Africa take this chance for granted.
Most businesses assume that they will always remain the client’s favorite brand because up to now, the client has never complained. This is the wrong mindset. You need to find ways to remain at the top of the client’s mind. Staying relevant is something you have to work on consistently, and marketing can help you out here. Every relationship needs to be maintained. Marketing helps your business to maintain a good relationship with customers by making you remain relevant.
It engages Your Current Customers
Customer engagement is the heart of any successful business – this is especially true for SMEs in Africa. According to Creativs, marketing is the most effective way to communicate your value proposition to your customers in a fun and exciting way. It allows you to communicate your message and engage customers and potential customers through several mediums. Instead of getting people to come to your store, as has been the case in years past, you can engage people over multiple platforms. You can do this through e-commerce, social media, and so on.
Marketing is great because it solves how to keep a conversation going once your customer has walked out the door. Consumers want to be engaged outside the store, and through marketing, you can send your customers content. It is not a one-time fix, it is an ongoing strategy that helps businesses flourish. So tell your customers what they don’t know. Let it be exciting and worth their time.
It Helps you Meet New Customers at their Points of Need
There isn’t a business anywhere in our world that could survive without the influx of new customers. They are the foundation of your business, giving you revenue as well as brand recognition. It’s essential not just to retain existing customers but attract new ones, too. New customers are essential, not just in terms of revenue.
Attracting new clients allows you to be aware of the needs of clients. If you know what consumers need, you can offer them what they need. If you offer quality products but don’t get the word out there, new customers will not know how to access them. Marketing allows you to meet your new customers at their points of need and so is as important as supplying high-quality products. You need to pay attention to this if you want to give new customers a reason to transact with you.
Marketing Equalizes the Playfield
Thanks to technology and the internet, every business has access to all the resources it needs to thrive. With the information age among us and the power of web presence and social media, SMEs in Africa now possess the ability to compete with large companies like never before. For SMEs in Africa, smart marketing can help even the playing field when it comes to competing against big-name competitors.
Effective marketing evens the playing field to make small businesses succeed because it can push customers toward more prominent brands. One might even say that SMEs have an advantage here because they can build more intimate customer relationships. Modern customers have been known to value experience overpricing. Social media platforms and email campaigns have made reaching out to consumers a much more finances-friendly possibility.
You need marketing because, without it, your business may offer the best products or services out there. However, none of your potential customers would even know. Good marketing does more than helping your customers understand why your product is better than the competition. It also helps you reach your target audience, boost your customer base, solidify your brand identity and ultimately boosts your bottom line all year round.