March 1, 2017
“Big businesses and governments are
I said that back in 2011 and I say it now. Very little has changed despite all the rhetoric. Governments and big blue chip corporates consistently think they're talking and marketing to the smaller or owner-managed businesses but they’re not.
That is because they do not realise that small businesses use a different language and behave in completely different ways to the world of corporates or public affairs.
There are over four million small businesses in the UK. Small businesses account for 99.8% of business names registered there and employ at least 12 million people. Yet despite this contribution to the UK economy all my qualitative research shows that owners of the so-called ‘small and medium-sized’ businesses feel ignored, or misunderstood by the corporates and big business who purport to serve business owner-managers.
In other words, corporates assume that a small business is just a little, big business. That is like saying frogs are the same as small crocodiles. They are not. They do not share the same form, culture or mindset.
Most advertisements focusing on the small business market (banks, IT, software, HR services) do not try to communicate with small businesses. They are not creating (or even attempting to create) a relationship, or demonstrating values important to their target customers.?
Another way of looking at this is that 76%
Marketers who want to talk or sell to small businesses need to recognise that:
In the spirit of helping the corporate marketer to small business understand us better, I want to offer a few insights that could give them a “Damascus” moment, if they are willing to listen.