“SME’s and even micro-businesses simply can no longer afford to ignore Social Media and DCM” Antonia
- The challenge of digitization for SMEs – why DCM isn’t so popular for them?
- The reasons Why they should integrate DCM to boost their business
- Recommendations – how to optimize DCM for SMEs?
“Some mid-size companies have seen a digital means of accelerating their access to consumers in 2017. Feeling less » safe « than large groups, they have seized the digital subject earlier and have done well. to make a growth relay. » Gilles Babinet
I had the chance to assist to the thesis defence of a brilliant student at ESCP Europe, we decided to write something about it to share this deep and concrete search since the topic is crucial: the role of DCM for boosting SMEs development. Digital transformation and governments rules have been driving our European economies towards a more entrepreneurial vision of business in which small entities tend to create hi-tech products and high-value services.
The simple example of a successful start-up would convince any corporate in large traditional companies: the “licorn” Snapchat has reached a larger market cap in just a few years than our good old companies like Renault, Carrefour i.e.
Potential is hidden in our SMEs and DCM could be one of the best solution to catch it.
Antonia explains us why DCM isn’t so popular among them in 2017 and why they should adopt a DCM strategy. Finally, she makes powerful recommendations for them.
The reasons Why they should integrate DCM to boost their business
“SMEs for the European economy provided 2/3 of jobs in the EU and generated about €3.9 trillion in 2015” Antonia
Antonia tried to find an answer to the question if digital content marketing makes sense for SMEs, and, in particular, for micro-sized businesses. When choosing this topic, she had noticed that content marketing has become a more and more powerful and common tool for marketers of big international conglomerates, such as Red Bull, Nike, and GoPro.
On a daily basis when we open our Facebook accounts, they entertain us with videos of extreme sports, educate us on a healthy nutrition or the right amount of physical exercise, or take us on adventures to magical places. The reason behind this steady increase in the use of digital content marketing is simple: while worldwide more and more people get access to the internet, an increasing amount is using adblockers, causing “traditional” advertising banners on regular websites to be less and less effective.
As of 1st February 2017, 615 million devices and 11% of the total global internet population are blocking advertising on the web according to the 2017 Adblock Report*. Consequentially, marketers had to come up with new and more creative ways to reach and effectively engage with their (prospective) customers and capture their interest. While international corporations anticipated this trend and reacted to it by forming the new marketing scape with a heavy focus on content marketing, it seems as
though small businesses neither saw this trend coming nor knew how to deal with it.
The challenge of digitization for SMEs – why isn’t DCM so popular for them?
“Nearly half of SMEs consider their own digital marketing as poor.”
This is a somewhat worrisome finding, as the importance of SMEs for the European economy is significant: in 2015, they provided 2/3 of jobs in the EU and generated about €3.9 trillion. Zooming in a bit further, we can see that micro-businesses, referring to businesses with less than ten employees and less than €2m annual turnover, according to the definition of the European Commission (2003), employ 1/3 of the total EU 28 labour force**.
So what is it that keeps SMEs from adopting this increasingly important marketing tool? Frankly speaking, it is no longer a secret that digitization has proved to be a major challenge for SMEs; among all the research that has been done in this field, we can summarise, quite bluntly, that it is limitations in budget and time, and a lack of specialised staffing and knowledge. In particular, a high average age and a low average level of education among the employees seem to have a negative impact on ICT adoption (Camra‐Fierro et al., 2012). According to Wolcott et al., 2008, the major challenges of ICT adoption among SMEs can be classified the following way:
These challenges result in slow ICT adoption in general, and a very slow adoption of social media and digital marketing practices, as well. These barriers seem to increase with decreasing company size (Barba-Sánchez et al., 2007). While by now, most small business owners have recognized the importance of social media – with 66% of small business owners strongly agreeing that social media use is important for their business (Stelzner, 2011) – they still have a lot of skills to catch up on. After all, surveys have shown that nearly half of SMEs consider their own digital marketing as poor (Taiminen and Karjaluoto, 2015).
Adoption of the new tool of digital content marketing will take a considerable amount of time and effort by SMEs. However, in times where 93% of people believe that businesses should have a social media presence (Cone Communications, 2008), SME’s and even micro-businesses simply can no longer afford to ignore this trend, if they do not want to be left behind.
Recommendations – how to optimize DCM for SMEs?
“Every enterprise is different. Blog, tweet, and post away to find out what platform and strategy suits your business objective best.”
Antonia therefore conducted an experiment with a micro-sized enterprise, using mostly the social media platform Facebook and the micro-blogging website Twitter to figure out what SMEs and, in particular, micro-sized enterprises can do to get started and remain visible on the internet: