If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that David really can take it to Goliath in a 21st century marketplace. Today's Davids are small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) that act as “disruptors,” while modern-day Goliaths that have been swept into the dustbin of economic history include Sears, Toys R Us, and RadioShack.
The way that consumers connect with brands, make a buying decision, and receive goods and services is changing. Innovative companies, like Amazon and Lyft, are doing an excellent job positioning themselves where customers need them.
Massive Fortune 500s, with multi-million-dollar marketing budgets, are not insulated by their size from savvy marketers and innovators in today’s digital landscape. This is proven by the fact that Fortune 500s are gobbling up smaller startups through acquisitions at a break-neck pace.
Goliaths needs to take note of the strategies that Davids are using to outmaneuver them. Let’s talk about two of the best strategies SMBs are using to steal market share and build their brands:
- Leveraging personalization to finesse the digital journey of every market segment
- Leveraging AI to prepare for the next evolution in content marketing
What is the first thing you do when considering a major purchase? Google it! You reach for your smartphone, tablet, or laptop and dive into what the review sites have to say and what competitors have to offer.
This isn’t shocking news. The problem is that Fortune 500s are trying to fight too many battles while SMBs might be better off focusing their limited resources on winning a few key digital battles.
In a recent article, Digital Marketer Justin Morgan weighs the pros and cons of SMBs diving into a PPC campaign. The relatively inexpensive barrier to entry (around a couple of dollars per click) might sound more palatable than diving into a content marketing digital bonanza.
But, as he outlines, smaller businesses need to build a digital foundation before bringing in traffic to irrelevant or sub-par landing pages that fail to immediately address the needs of the visitor. He advises that SMBs first invest in high-quality digital branding and ensuring a uniform experience across every digital platform. Then they need to craft a digital experience that is hyper-focused on the journey of the visitor, allowing traffic (organic and paid) to have the best conversion rate possible.
This same advice can and should be applied to large companies. While their generic, brand-wide digital footprint is usually consistent and high-quality, they sometimes forget to customize the experience for different segments of their customer base.
I’ve worked with my fair share of corporate juggernauts that mistakenly believed they can send customers through their generic, branded digital assets and score a conversion. If the little guy is aggressively targeting a single type of customer, while you fail to personalize the experience, your flagging conversion rate will make customer acquisition a lot more expensive.Leveraging AI to Prepare for the Next Evolution in Content Marketing
If you’re looking for inspiration to help you market your startup effectively, this Forbes article provides plenty of success stories. My personal favorite is Casper’s use of AI to provide a digital companion to insomniacs via interactive text messaging.
Casper launched their mattress-in-a-box concept in 2014. In the hyper-competitive mattress arena, they now have a respectable market share, approaching 1%. If you consider that their largest competitor only has 11% of the market, 1% starts to sound more respectable.
While the retail mattress chains leveraged traditional broadcast and print advertising to drive foot traffic to their stores, Casper drove their message home via multiple viral YouTube videos and digital advertising. Then they took things to the next level with their AI-powered chatbot. And by targeting insomniacs, they’ve positioned themselves as a brand that cares about your sleep, even if you aren’t sleeping on one of their products.
Their push to reach insomniacs means that they are connecting with those most likely to invest in a better mattress.
Large brands could more easily afford to invest in AI-powered, two-way content marketing strategies. Casper had to eat up some valuable runway to launch theirs, but the media buzz has more than vindicated their financial gamble.
Large brands cannot afford to be one dimensional in a digital world. Customers need to feel like they are interacting with a brand that uniquely understands their needs and desires. SMBs get to leverage their smaller target by becoming more personalized. And with the rise of AI, it’s clear that content marketers will be evolving in 2019 to better deal with inbound content from the customers they want to win over.
Goliath needs to get up to speed or prepare to surrender market share to the new kids on the block.
Find out how you can win over customers with your content marketing with “Do More with B2B Content Marketing.”