Marketing Communications

Marketing Communications

One of the most important parts of running a successful MSME business is communicating effectively with the customer. An MSME typically communicates with its customers via two mediums:-

 

Sales Literature

 

There are various types of sales literature that MSMEs prepare, most of which could be classified as a brochure, catalogue, case study, spec sheet, catalog, newsletter, poster, flier, envelope stuffer, annual report, or booklet.

Tips to prepare effective sales literature

  • Know your prospects
  • Make your copy easy for the reader to stay focused on.
  • Get your main points across in the headline and subheadings.
  • Include captions with your graphics.
  • Connect with the prospect by vividly describing his/her daily pains.
  • Create a desire for your product.
  • Don't just ask for your prospects' business.
  • Give an extra incentive.
  • Invest in graphic designer or writing talent.


Read more on how to prepare effective sales literature. (Users would have to do a free registration to access the complete article)


Some of the most commonly prepared sales tools are:-

Brochures & Catalogue

A brochure is a type of sales literature that serves as a sales tool at the same time as an informational piece. Broadly, there are three types of brochures. A company brochure is a brochure that gives a basic overview of a company and what kinds of products or services it offers. SMEs can use this kind of brochure to give background information about the company. A product brochure describes one product or an entire line of products and gives information about the materials used to make products, what the products can be used for, and other information that's important to potential buyers. Service brochures describe services that are offered by service-based companies. Some of the information included in a service brochure might be why a service is needed or how the service is performed.

Read more on how to create a sales brochure

Read more to know all about catalogue designing


Case Studies

Case studies are very effective tools of sales literature, especially for service businesses that don't have a tangible product to demonstrate to prospects. A case study is a history of how a product or service helped a customer in some way. Case studies are also very specific; they tell readers who had a problem and how your product or service helped to resolve that problem. Since case studies hold reader interest, they are often more effective promotional pieces than brochures and other types of sales literature.

Read more on how to develop a case study.

Click on the links below to see sample MSME case studies
 

 

 

Promotions

 

An MSME may not have the luxury of elaborate marketing budgets as compared to its larger counter parts. Thus, it is imperative for an MSME manager to devise cost effective measures to promote his business. Some of the low costs methods of promotions are:-

 

  • Business Stationery

    Business Stationery is an important tool in promotion of a company. All material (letterhead, envelope, CD/DVDs etc) used for communicating with the client/customer should have proper “branding” with your company logo, taglines and color themes. The same goes for outgoing faxes, bill payments, receipts; whatever paper you send out should carry your full company message. Email should have email signatures with logo and company website URL which can in a long way to promote the company.

 

  • Sales promotions

    Sales promotion is methods using special short-term techniques employed to generate target market response or getting the target market to undertake certain activity. As a reward, companies offer something of value to those responding generally in the form of lower cost of ownership for a purchased product (e.g., lower purchase price, money back) or the inclusion of additional value-added material (e.g., something more for the same price). This type of sales promotion can be broadly classified into:-
    • Consumer market directed – Sales promotions directed towards the consumer.
    • Trade channel directed – Sales promotions directed towards the trade channel partners (retailers, distributors etc.) in order to push the product.
    • Business-to-Business market directed



    To know about sales promotion in detail, click here

 

  • Web-based Promotions

    In recent times, internet has become one of the most important tools of promotion. One can leverage from the reach of internet. It caters to a global audience and has become a critical tool for small businesses especially exporters (B2B). Some common tools for internet promotions are:-
    • Search Engine Marketing

      Search engine marketing (SEM), is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of search engine optimization, paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion. Some of largest SEM vendors are Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter. Out of the four techniques of SEM discussed, Search Engine Optimization is a cost effective methods MSMEs can employ to increase their visibility on the internet.

      Read more on Search engine Marketing

      Search Engine Optimization

      Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a web site or a web page in search engines. It is often about making small modifications to parts of the website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, those could have a noticeable impact on the website's user experience and performance in organic search results

      Read a Starter's Guide on Search Engine Optimization by Google

      Details about Search Engine Optimization can be found here.



    • B2B Marketplaces

      Getting listed in various B2B marketplaces on the internet is a good way to let prospective customers know about the company and the product. These websites have a huge listing of prospective buyers (for example, Indiamart has more than 500,000 trade enquiries in a month) and could prove to be helpful in obtaining queries and getting orders. Subscribing to these websites is free, however, user have to pay a fee to get premium services like obtaining list of prospective buyers.

       
    • Social Media Marketing

      Social networking sites like facebook.com , twitter.com and orkut.com are fast becoming one of the most important channels of interaction between the company and its customers (especially service based companies with web presence). One can reach its desired target market by creating fan pages, communities to generate awareness about a company/product.

      Read more on how to use effectively use the social networking sites.

 

  • Trade Shows/Events

    This type of promotion is an important tool for MSMEs offering B2B product and services. Participation in trade shows, both domestic and international ensures increased visibility of the business among the target customers. Most of the trade shows and events provide dedicated space for participating businesses to demonstrate its products and services.

    Click here to read show on effectively using trade shows and events as a promotional tool.

 

  • Government Support for Marketing Assistance

    Government provides extensive support to MSMEs in order to enhance their marketing capabilities & competitiveness. Government support to MSMEs is being extended in the following areas:-
    • Organizing International Technology Exhibitions in Foreign Countries by NSIC and participation in International Exhibitions/Trade Fairs.
    • Organizing Domestic Exhibitions and Participation in Exhibitions/ Trade Fairs in India.
    • Support for Co-sponsoring of exhibitions organized by other organizations/ industry associations/agencies.
    • Buyer-Seller Meets.
    • Intensive Campaigns and Marketing Promotion Events.



    Please click here to know the Marketing Assistance Scheme in detail.

    To know about the marketing assistance scheme in detail, go to the Policy and Scheme section

 

  • Publicity

    Publicity is an attempt to manage the public's perception of a company/product/service. It is a below the line activity to portray a positive image about the company. This could be achieved by publishing articles which indirectly depicts a positive image or publishing press releases regarding company’s activities. Some companies use Corporate Social Responsibility to create a better image about the company which ultimately leads to a strong brand image.

    Click here to know about publicity and low cost promotions.

 

  • Advertising

    Advertising is a paid form of communication utilized to persuade the target customer to purchase or take some action upon products, ideals, or services. There are various forms of advertising usually differentiated by the medium of communication. The forms of advertising are:-
    • Television Advertising
    • Radio Advertising
    • Online Advertising
    • Billboard Advertising
    • In-Store Advertising
    • Word of Mouth Advertising


    Read more on how to use advertising effectively for small businesses.