Call it the epic battle between David and Goliath. From downtown New York, Venice, Paris to Munich, the number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) outnumber the number of blue-chip multinational corporations doing business.
Yet, the tragedy of this truth is that the population of MSMEs across the world makes for statistical data and a crowd but established market-leading brands that come under the shelter of scaled-up blue-chip corporations are the ones that people know, recognize and transact with.
In other words, blue-chip corporations have a reputation that could range from great to good or bad. MSMEs on the other hand despite forming the pack of the global economy are the herd; the ones that investors, customers, and employees do not know.
Digital marketing companies and consultants including us at TIS acknowledge the fact that in best cases MSMEs at best struggle to build a reputation and thus are unable to leverage it as a move of strategic behaviour and branding.
The gravity of the challenge only increases if the reputation is bad. However not everything is lost and at last paradise, it seems can be regained. Thanks to the evolution of the digital ecosystem for doing business and the cost, process and time efficiencies of online reputation management being offered by digital marketing companies, MSMEs can look forward to reinventing the rules of competition in the market.
Challenges and Solutions for MSME Brands in a New Age Digital Economy
From having a website that is fully functional and running, investing in social media marketing to creating laser focused content that showcases the key brand differentiators, there are tons of things that MSMEs can pursue within their stipulated budgets.
The key is to take a top-down insight of the rules of engagement, get the basics right and to place digital marketing initiatives and programs for online reputation management at the centre of the business model, not at the periphery. This calls for a change in mind set and a leap of faith; believing that the net of their investments in online reputation management will appear when they need it.
For MSMEs to succeed with their reputation management before target audiences of investors, customers and employees, it is vital for them to understand that the point where digital marketing outscores conventional brick and mortar marketing are: scalability, data-driven approach to decision making and costs.
Once the culture barrier is broken, it is advisable for MSME brands to take a holistic view of the grey areas that need their immediate attention. Remember that the urgent areas may not necessarily be the most important ones, but are those that need to be dealt with straight away before committing precious resource to a scaled up program or initiative.
As a leading online reputation management we at company TIS have diagnosed insights and experiences of working with both blue chip corporate and MSME brands across the globe to find areas that need improvement. Further we also suggest the following benchmarked practices that in our view shall empower and enable brands of small businesses to be more and do more:
1) Product Managers for Brand Positioning
Why do MSME brands fail to showcase their product offerings? Is it the lack of utility in it or failed customer excellence? In most of the cases, it is the lack of product placement in the value market that leads to its downfall. As a matter of fact, product manager is extensively responsible for taking the product through a product process framework, study each of its behavioural reactional in the climate chain and to objectify the brand’s goal.
2) Enhanced team collaboration amongst various departments
It is important to knit and grit the complete departmental structure into a single thread to ensure one voice for an overall business. When each department has the same message to deliver, across all its platforms, channels and products, the sense of authenticity is delivered into the minds of the audience, creating an inevitable reach of your business. But you need to be consistent in enhancing the customer experience and product catalogue to always be the hit list.
3) Create a Rich User Experience across all platforms
The key priority of the online visitor is the “Rich User Experience”. The presence of numerous alternatives has made your task even more tough to always stay ahead of your competition. For the search engine ranking , user experience (UX) is the first factor to consider, having failed to deliver it you might lose audience in a matter of seconds. As a brand, you need to be fluence your data analysis and focus on the area where you lack perfection and work in accordance to generate rich user experience for your visitors.
4) Highlight Your Premium Products
Focus on the premium quality product is ever increasing with the augment of e-commerce in India. We as an audience don’t just want things to be quick but the best (without going through the hassle of pick-in pick-out) with a tentative conclusion. Explain to them your premium products in the first display to become their first preference (especially the millennial crowd).
5) Safeguard Authenticity with Increased Data Protection
Heard about the data leak from the leading fintech company in India? That’s what leniency in giving concentrated focus towards data protection can lead to. With the increased number of cyber crime reported on the daily basis, it is really important for the internet companies to build and advance level of data protection to safeguard consumer data and to maintain its’ social reputation.
6) Look for the Right Domain Name to Complement your Website
As a result of constant feeding and general outlook, we tend to show strong trust in domains like .com, .org, and .co.uk., it is primarily due to the authenticity we have been associating with it and that’s exactly what you got to for your business. Choosing the right domain for your business can build a sense of trust and authenticity in your brand with easy customer attraction.
7 Link your Online Presence to the Current Domain Name
Social reach is the most effective fundamental of augmenting your online reach. With the boost of twitter and Facebook for voicing opinions, social media has gained pace and so should be your integrated marketing. Link your existing social presence to your domain name, such as social media platforms , product page, and websites to redirect people into viewing your product detail through any of these links.
8) Incorporating Branded Emails into your Work Flow
India is in a constant run to go digital. So why should your business lag? But getting a fancy and a branded email for your business is only possible after a successful completion of creating a website for your blog with a specific name. usually the email name is linked to the domain that is created based on your company’s name. Getting one such email for your company will augment your online reputation management and in building consistency of your brand throughout the internet management chain.
A VISION FOR MSMEs IN THE GLOBAL DIGITAL ECONOMY
At TIS, we have worked with both top blue chip and MSME brands and thus here we offer a snapshot of the insights on what MSME brands can do surmount challenges to reputation building they are faced with, by leveraging digital marketing. First, think of all the reasonably good to great locations in your location for retail commercial spaces.
It costs less to design, develop and rank a website on search engines than to rent or lease a brick and mortar location in a posh area already inhabited by big brands. Second, social media marketing offers a scalable and cost rationalized solution for branding and reputation management than say the use of media vehicles like print, radio, and television.
Third, an MSME brand can track and analyze data to get clear cut insights on digital media platforms, something that is very costly do in a conventional brick and mortar platform to keep track of their reputation in near real-time times.
Fourth, accepting digital payments through payment gateway development and integration navigates an MSME towards online tax returns submission and enhances compliance and regulation that further augments reputation.
With the above-mentioned elements of value addition that online reputation management can offer, MSMEs can look forward to not just competing but winning against blue-chip brands. Yes, at TIS we believe that a David can win against Goliath.