Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2023-05-17
While many small-to-midsize businesses (SMB) have been short-staffed in recent years, most have the good fortune to rely upon a trusted network of service providers that offer specialized expertise in areas like accounting, IT, legal, web design, marketing, or banking.
SMBs need service businesses – and service businesses need a steady flow of new SMB prospects if they want to scale their revenue, but many don’t know where to turn. The tried and true methods they’ve used in the past to attract new customers, such as print ads in the local newspaper, just don’t cut it anymore. And while referrals are great, word of mouth will only get you so far.
If you have a service business, it’s time to modernize and scale your approach to finding SMB customers. Here are three ideas to guide your strategy:
There are more than 30 million small businesses in the U.S., representing a significant market for B2B service companies. Yes, a single “whale” account can move the needle significantly—but that same bump up can be quickly bumped down if they leave.
With budgets tightening and economic uncertainty figuratively hanging over our heads, relying only on large businesses can be an unnecessary risk. Besides, the reality is, there are only 2,000 Fortune 2000 businesses and everyone knows who they are, which makes getting your foot in the door highly competitive.
Another plus about SMBs: they typically have a shorter decision-making cycle than their larger competitors, meaning your firm could become the accounting/ marketing/ design/ legal agency of record faster than it would take to land the business of an enterprise organization.
That’s why many of our clients have found success targeting and winning over SMBs. Almost all SMBs depend upon service businesses – and many of them could be looking to switch providers or find additional external support right now.
Just like the adage ”You don’t know what you don’t know,” in acquisition marketing “You don’t know who you don’t know.”
Most service businesses don’t have a first-party database large enough to make a sustainable impact on landing new customers. That’s not the purpose of first-party databases anyway. Acquisition campaigns are meant to bring in new customers, while your first-party database is intended to nurture and market to customers you already have.
Third-party SMB contact data gives you scale and reach. It gives you access to a much wider audience of prospects than your existing database ever could – an audience that can be segmented, sliced, and diced to match your ideal targets.
How much data are we talking about? The OMI acquisition database has more than 117 million B2B contacts with email addresses, including upwards of 87 million SMB contacts.
When you think about using third-party data, you’ve got to think about it in modern terms. Your digital “list” should be derived from audience building -- a strategic process that can make or break your acquisition campaigns. At OMI, audience building starts with clean fresh data (ask us about our data validity guarantee). It involves identifying the best targets for our clients, whether those targets are SMBs or not. We use a variety of methods -- from audience mirroring, which analyzes a business’ current customers to create a similar audience of prospects, to intent monitoring, which tracks digital behavior to identify contacts most likely to be in market for your offers, and other strategies.
After you build your audience, the next step is connecting with them. Be sure to use the right platform to fuel your acquisition campaigns. You can read more about that here.
Reach out to my team today and we can walk you through how third-party SMB contact data can give you the reach you need to drive more business this year.
At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.