Four Major Marketing Challenges Faced by SMEs and Tips for Thriving

Four Major Marketing Challenges Faced by SMEs and Tips for Thriving

June 3, 2021 0

SMEs in Africa face several marketing challenges. This is because many entrepreneurs and small businesses struggle with marketing. Worst-case scenario, you run the department by yourself or have a team do so.

In this piece, we look for creative ways to tackle these marketing challenges and how it shows up.

Getting leads

Getting a huge amount of leads is a challenge and even when we do. If these leads are not qualified; they can’t become customers and money is wasted.

Four Major Marketing Challenges Faced by SMEs and Tips for Thriving
One of the major marketing challenges of SMEs in getting leads

The job of marketing is to ensure qualified prospects get into the bucket and follow through with the existing processes. This will eventually convert them to buyers which is one of the hardest places for business customers.

How to fight back

A business without a process or structure would fall.

i). Start by building an end-to-end sales process.

For instance, your customer journey should look like these below:

  • Facebook Ad
  • Customers inquiries via dm or form and drops contact (phone number or email)
  • Sales representatives are assigned to verify their needs (If valuable they move down)
  • Sales representatives offer a product or service for sale. (Customer buys and sales end)
  • The customer did not buy and goes back to the marketing funnel.

ii). Develop specific content for each stage your customers are at. Remember there are different types of customers (some are warm and others are cold). 

The messaging you need to create would be different for someone who has no idea of what you do. It will give them an idea about why they should purchase from you.

For instance, a cold customer would need more educative content on the features of the service. On the other hand, the others may only want to know you care through your content designs.


You probably don’t have the marketing budget of tens of millions of dollars. More often, you may be faced with the dilemma of investing in marketing for your business.

As a business that is not ready to take a digital risk and would rather go traditional. The big question to ask is that – are they cheaper? 

Prints are getting more expensive, your salespeople would spend more on transport than any other activities and would be drained out.

Digital is cheaper and is measurable while handing over banners at a physical conference. Especially where you cannot measure who actually engaged your banners or fliers is short of perfect.

How to fight back

Marketing is not something that works immediately for most businesses which is why you can do a lot of A/B testing and analysis. Use the report and analysis received to tweak your messages, content, and design for more results.

An effective ad is cheaper and allows you to get the best returns for little. One more helpful tip is to get free tools online that allow you to manage your marketing. These tools can help you keep track of what is working and not.

Acquiring the needed know-how

Every minute platforms keep changing and evolving, so should our knowledge of users on this platform. 

Some entrepreneurs assume they understand marketing but with marketing comes insights into how to acquire and use tools at your disposal.

How to fight back

It may be time to register for that training or marketing sales coaching that can show you the ropes. Especially when you do all the marketing and sales yourself. 

Keep a schedule that allows you to read informative blogs like crazy egg by Neil Patel.

The ample of free content on YouTube alone can change your knowledge and your work tools.

Availability of time

Several business owners also run a 9 to 5 and sure, they do complain of being unable to meet up with projects due to workload. The truth is anyone managing marketing needs time to strategize and think.

The task of managing three social media accounts yourself is daunting, let alone emails or blogging.

How to fight back

There are many automation tools out there where you can set months and even days. 

We even have coaches and social media managers who share bundles and templates that you can use for three months or more.

All these saving you time.


The best thing you can do for your business is to stay flexible enough to adapt and make quick changes before you lose resources and time.

Always be analyzing your marketing to making changes that guarantee high returns.

Seun Odegbami
Seun Odegbami
Seun Odegbami
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