Few Brand Marketers Have A Complete View of Their SMB Customers

January 24, 2014

CMOCouncil-Enterprise-Marketers-Knowledge-of-the-SMB-Market-Jan2014Enterprise brand marketers who sell to SMB audiences are planning to increase their SMB focus in the future, as the vast majority expect the market to grow to some extent over the next 3 years. However, only 8% of the respondents to the survey conducted by The CMO Council and Penton indicate that they have a complete 360-degree view of the SMB customer, and marketers identify numerous areas where there are gaps in their data.

While half of the survey respondents reported having good transactional, behavioral and customer support data on their customers and the SMB market in general, one-third are working on building out their CRM system for SMBs and an equal percentage are looking to improve data management and analytics capability.

In terms of the biggest SMB data gaps, respondents most often cited:

  • Buying behavior and sourcing processes (32%);
  • Predictive analytics (30%); and
  • Market sizing and segmentation.

Another 26% cited more basic data such as purchase decision-makers and contact information (such as email addresses). It’s interesting to see a far higher share of respondents cite those gaps than social media engagements and personas (12%), a result that the researchers attribute either to marketers already having a wealth of such information at their disposal or having “bigger fish to fry” – such as basic contact information. It may be more the latter, as separate survey results indicate that fewer than 1 in 5 respondents are acquiring and utilizing SMB market intelligence through social media channels.

Marketers will need to fill their data gaps if they are to follow through on their strategies to better target and connect with SMBs. Of those strategies, the main ones indicated by respondents are: segmenting, targeting and increasing campaign effectiveness; and undertaking more personalized and relevant communication (more on that here).

About the Data: The data is based on an online audit taken by 160 senior marketing executives selling to small businesses. 39% represent organizations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, and 60% allocate up to 40% of their overall marketing expenditures to SMB-specific campaigns or programs.

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