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Competitive SME: Building Competitive Advantage Through Marketing Excellence for Small to Medium Sized Enterprisesby David James Hood
Synopses & Reviews
Marketing for SMEs is inspired and driven by the E.U, initiative futureSME and specifically is a response to the fact that the majority (surprisingly) of the main SME challenges relate directly to marketing. Or at least, the lack of the SME's ability to do it. The book outlines how SMEs, despite the strong and relentless pressure to "act like a major corporate" even when it is obviously not large and does not have the resources or level of management attention to do so, can in fact out-perform larger organizations when it comes to marketing and "being small" can actually be a positive benefit. It introduces the SME to create and manage simple yet effective marketing and branding processes and how to better engage with its market while maximizing its limited marketing resources and adopting a brand new approach to what it actually provides, how to use word of mouth marketing effectively, and a different perspective on how changing to the "currency of the customer" fits with sales and how sales are then optimized.
The majority of the challenges to small- and medium-sized enterprises (or SMBs in the US) relate directly to marketing and the lack of the SMBs means to do it. However, despite not having the resources of a big corporation, SMBs can still out perform larger organizations when it comes to marketing.
Hood outlines how small- and medium-sized businesses can harness and exploit their competitiveness, agility, performance and resilience to effectively increase their growth. Competitive SME explains how to create and manage simple yet effective marketing and branding processes, better engage with markets while maximizing limited marketing resources, adopt a brand new approach to what it provides, use word of mouth marketing effectively, and change to the "currency of the customer."
Including tips on decision-making, investments and marketing on a budget, Competitive SME is a practical guide to understanding SMBs advantages and to staying viable in a competitive marketplace.
About the Author
David Hood is CEO and 'Concepteur' of the specialist marketing intellectual property, capital and asset creation and development company Marketing Sans Frontières. He was an early innovator in modern digital and technology-led marketing and has served on the UK's Marketing and Sales Standards Setting Body, the manufacturing group CompetitiveScotland and is a Guest Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, as well as a previous role as Chair of the CIM's technology group.
Table of Contents
List of figures
List of tables
Why you should read this book
How to use this book and what you will get from it
A straightforward seven-stage path to competitiveness through enhanced marketing
Practical book and tools
Clear defi nitions and direction for the SME
Why should I care about marketing? I want to know more about being exceptionally competitive!
Marketing: what it is; and just as important, what it is not
A short and essential history
Using the book in conjunction with the futureSME initiative
02 The reality: addressing stress for the SME owner, manager or executive
Achieving a sound sleep at night...
The reality for SMEs and turning things to your advantage
Reducing personal stress
Changing ‘cannot to ‘can
03 Competitiveness and the SME: we want it; but how do we get it?
Forget ‘Paretos principle?
What are competitiveness and creativity, in terms of their use to me?
What SMEs think about competitiveness
What marketing does for SME competitiveness
FutureSME and marketing
OK, so where do we start? - using the tools in this book
The marketing mix
The marketing audit
Quick marketing audit
04 Increasing your confidence: leveraging what you have
The power of ‘FREE
Communicate, communicate, communicate
‘I just dont have anything to say
So what makes a great story?
How you can actually use feedback to be a major differentiator
05 Maximizing SME management: making better decisions: investments and predictions
What is ‘success in managing an SME?
Knowing your direction, goals and objectives
Making decisions that matter
Creating new markets
Self-creating markets and the new reality
Social media communities
Strategy and measurements for decision-making
Cost-plus and cost-accounting are the enemy of the SME
Decision-making and improving judgement
Growth v growth
Do not neglect marketing when concentrating on sales!
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Incoming or ‘in-bound conversations
06 Your unique selling proposition: agility, the ‘adaptive organization, profit and revenue improvement
Advantage and ‘the product
Resourcing to create advantage
It is a knowledge economy now!
07 Real market presence: marketing on a budget; branding, positioning and the SME
Power and your market
Assessing your market: marketing and market research
Market/marketing research template
Sources of information
The ‘value proposition
The total product concept
Looking at your proposition from the OUTSIDE IN
The value matrix
Notes on using the value matrix
Statements and ‘stories supporting the value proposition
Testing the ‘force of the proposition
Steps to checking your value proposition
‘Branding and ‘imagineering
What can branding do for me?
SME branding: perceptions, positioning and segmentation
Getting branding right
Important evolution of modern segmentation
A simple brand management cycle template
Social networking and ‘the new reverse customer convergence and segmentation
Managing the ‘social media: engagement
08 What do we really need to do? Planning to win
Investment in sales and marketing capabilities
Marketing plan and planning: it is not just writing a document for the shelf in your office
When writing your marketing plan
Components of a great marketing plan
Positioning and perceptual maps
The core challenge and conflict for your customer
Developing your proposition and propelling it into the market
Action plan and schedule
09 Grasping the opportunity 1 (MARKETING): ‘changing the currency
What is the primary pain for your customer?
Moving to a ‘change in currency
‘Moving from margin myopia
10 Grasping the opportunity 2 (SALES): ‘changing to managing the INCOME (revenue) PIPELINE
Reconstructing the sale
Move from anticipating loosely-predicted targets based on sales
transactions to focusing on ‘a crafted pull from the market
Changing sales targeting and management
Changing the way we look at sales
Improve post-sale service to existing customers
Stop thinking about sales as ‘units of delivery or transactions
11 Quick wins (rather than quick fixes)
Change 1: What you think of marketing and its role as the means to competitiveness
Change 2: Sensing your market
Change 3: Less of an obsession with our competition
Change 4: Review what success means and our strategy to achieve it
Always ask for testimonials
Cautioning about ‘quick fixes...
Tackling your immediate concerns and improving now
12 Optimizing your proposition and making more money: bringing it all together!
A cyclical planning process for the SME
The competitive marketing triangle
Using the competitive marketing triangle as the strategic dashboard for your organization
Lastly, and most importantly - how to measure word of mouth and optimize it
The whole futureSME competitive marketing process
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