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SMB marketing advice, tips and tricks | As the Gears Turn

April 29, 2021

SMB marketing advice, tips and tricks  | As the Gears Turn
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Technology professionals, particularly in the SMB market, often struggle with marketing. The problem: they haven’t brought someone aboard with marketing expertise. But making that investment is critical to making your brand look and feel more like the company you aspire to be.
In this special As the Gears Turn edition, Marie Rourke, founder and channel strategist at WhiteFox Marketing, talks with Devaughn Bittle and Patrick Cash about:
  • Indications that it’s time to rebrand
  • Making technical products and services easier to understand
  • How much you should spend on marketing

Why you need to invest in marketing

If your goal is to grow your business, you should have someone with marketing expertise to guide marketing strategy.
“The brand is one of the first things people judge you by,” says Marie. “So you want to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward.”

When is it time for a rebrand?

There are different types of rebrands, from a complete, top-to-bottom revamp to a refinement.
A refinement of your brand should always be happening.
For many SMBs, their original brand was slapped together with chicken scratches on a napkin. Now, you want to invest in your brand to make it look and feel more like the company you aspire to be.
Two more signs that indicate it’s time to rebrand:
  • Not attracting the right talent
  • Not attracting the right kind of customers

Making complex tech easier to understand

Keep one thing in mind when marketing: people want an outcome—they don’t really care how they get there.
“When I go to my electrician, for example,” says Marie, “I just tell him to fix my lights. I don’t really need to know all the nuances of what he’s doing.”
So when you’re marketing to the general public, make sure you use simple language and analogies. Think about how you would explain what you do to your grandma.
But it needs to be a business-outcome led discussion.

How much should you invest in marketing?

“We advocate for folks to do a low double digit,” says Marie. A good number is 10%.
Most partners are in the 2-3% range. They’re throwing some money at it but not enough to have any meaningful impact.
You should be marketing to goals, not to a budget. What are you trying to accomplish?
  • Grow awareness
  • Decrease your cost per lead
  • Target a specific audience
Let that dictate your marketing activities and spend.
Ingram Micro has a full in-house marketing agency available for channel partners that can help with small tasks like designing a simple flyer all the way to large tasks like a full brand refresh.
Contact your Ingram Micro representative for more information and read about Seven Digital Marketing Trends for 2021.