Five tips to help SMEs grow in 2016

When it comes to attracting new customers, no one really wants to be sold to. So the most effective marketing really engages with new and prospective customers by building up a personal connection with them. By helping customers to become more familiar with our business (and more importantly the people behind the brand), we can build trust and understanding about the amazing benefits we offer, which naturally leads to more sales.

Here are my five top tips to help you better engage with your customers and increase sales for 2016:

1. Define your key message(s):

By clearly defining what makes your business so amazing and honing your (USP) Unique Selling Point, you can make sure this is the focus of all your marketing output. It is important that your customers digest and understand your key message(s) and that this is not diluted by trying to get across too much information in one go. Two great points to consider are what is the main benefit you offer your customers and how does this solve their problems?


2. Understand your audience:

Whilst we often use the term ‘target audience’ it is also important to remember that customers are real people – individuals who want to be valued. You may find it helpful to focus on a specific customer and develop a detailed customer profile:

  • Who is your customer?
  • Are they married with children or a single working professional?
  • Baby Boomer or Millennial?
  • What are their interests, activities and opinions?
  • What are their hopes, concerns and influences?

By creating a mental image of your typical customer, you will gain an insight into their motivation and a deeper understanding of what they really need. You can then make sure your marketing messages and content speak specifically to them.

Try to be as specific as possible here – if everybody can use your product or service, no one will!


3. Invest wisely:

You don’t have to spend lots to effectively connect with new and existing audiences. A small, steady amount of regular marketing every month will make the most of what money you have available. Begin by creating a budget and investing in regular activities to reach your target audience. By doing so you will receive a greater return on your investment than if you spend the equivalent on two expensive bursts every year.


4. Go Local:

Small businesses undeniably have the edge in local marketing dynamics. So reach out to your immediate audience and let them know that you are the Go-to people to help with their needs. Introduce the people behind your brand, and emphasise your service message, which will always be more appealing than the automated help-line that is offered by larger national competitors.



5. Create a compelling call-to-action:

Having delivered your message, getting your prospective client to do what you want them to do can be like herding cats! However, there are a few subtle ways you can entice them:

  • On every piece of communication, leave them in no doubt as to what you want them to do, e.g. to sign-up to your newsletter / call you to make an appointment / visit your website for more information.
  • Plus, don’t miss the chance to further connect with your audience by thinking carefully about the language you use here. For example, instead of using a bland and generic “Submit” button on your website, consider something which sets you apart. For example “Give us a try” or “Talk to us” uses friendly, approachable language that reinforces the personality of your business – and leaves the prospect feeling reassured that they’re not being sold to.



If you need any help getting your message out there, I am here to help – call me today on 01473 744884 or email me at