Friday, December 24, 2010

Marketing the Small Business

Size does matter. Size of advertising expenditure, size of air time, size of budget, size of the newspaper ad, size of the celeb endorsing your product and the size of stupidity. Size does matter.
But fortunately a small business does not suffer from the stupidity this big. They can do it by being small, by being smart.“It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
 Mark Twain's famous quote applies for those small businesses who think its impossible to compete with the giants. Media is free today. Managers at reputed B-schools study brand management. They've forgotten Tribe Management. They suit up  to please their boss, follow the corporate rules. You on the other hand have the power of community development. You are small and will promise what you'll give. There will be little inter department miscommunication, your customer service center won't be in another country and you'll reach your clients faster and fulfill their needs personally. They'll join your community, they'll join your tribe. Seth Godin (2008) writes 
Brand management is so 1999. Brand management was top down, internally focused, political and money based. It involved an MBA managing the brand, the ads, the shelf space, etc. The MBA argued with product development and manufacturing to get decent stuff, and with the CFO to get more cash to spend on ads.
This Christmas while the big businesses are matching their sales figures its time to forge new connections. As they work on their laptops looking at those red-green graphs and bar charts you can enjoy it building your tribe. The big dogs are generally too big for building a tribe. Its the smaller ones that make a successful gang.