How to reach the Indian SMB Market?

“The danger sensation is exciting. The challenge is to find new dangers” – Ayrton Senna

For a marketer, India SMB is a daunting and strategic challenge, with challenge comes opportunity.

Indian SMB is a huge untapped and a complex market. By Stat India has nearly 20million SMB which contributes 60 % to India’s GDP(source – http://india.smetoolkit.org/india/en/content/en/42648/Is-the-Indian-SMB-market-lucrative-).

I worked in a SaaS based company which tried to tap this market but we failed not “we” “I” failed. The SaaS business is a volume game if you are selling a low-cost product. The few key things we should take care before starting marketing activities –

1.     Have a well-written cost and pricing model – Do detail metrics analysis What is viable CAC, what is minimal viable price, Life time value of the product. All the metrics be well documented, analyzed and followed(http://blog.ozonetel.com/2016/08/SaaS-Metrics.html)

2.     Always follow the price model – Strict to the price model, if you are a startup don’t enter the price war, add value to your product and increase perceived value of your product/service. The price war never ends, it’s just a myth that SMB just care about price.

3.     Avoid bargaining – There is no end of negotiation in India, never try to start the bargaining process, if you give your customer right to bargain you will enter never ending process particularly if you are selling a low-cost product. It will eat up both your time as well as money

4.     Automate the selling process – Try to automate most of the activities, from the time a lead is generated to its closure. Payment, Invoice, demo etc. Few things like creating a demo be costly but in a long run it saves time as well as the money

5.     Relation-based selling –  Relationship is a key element in India but have a proper process for follow up and don’t go for Adhoc follow up. Many CRM helps in planning the follow-up process and scheduling

How to reach the vast market?

1.     Selling Partner – Even in the information age and Digital Marketing, In India relationship is a key element in sales, create a network of partner. It’s is the best channel as CAC is always in control and you don’t have to invest too much on marketing.

Do integrated campaign just to attract the partner email, social media, PPC campaign etc.

2.     Integration – In SaaS based product integration is necessary for any market, it gives a full-fledged solution to customers and adds value to your solution.Make sure product/service is mentioned on partner’s website.

3.     Regional Content Marketing – Well most of the companies prefer English, but a hard fact about the India is just 20 % of the population understand English, in many regions like Tamil Naidu, Gujarat people give preference to regional language. Regional language can help you to connect with the population. Create video’s, blog’s, PR etc. in regional language and market them through all the channels.

4.     Leverage regional digital media – There are many blogs and portals in a regional language with very good reach, ranking, and variety of topics. These online portals can be a very cost-effective way of reaching the SMB industry, find the portal where you can find the target audience if you have prepared detailed customer buyer persona you should know about the customer interest. Post your content on those portals or make them your affiliate partner.

5.     Email marketing – Like the western countries, India doesn’t have a strict cyber law on email marketing. But spamming wouldn’t work, prepare a detail buyer persona with a focus on customer pain point and do a context based email marketing.

6.     Video marketing – India has the cheapest broadband rate, due to increased competition many telcos are even giving it free of cost. Leverage this media, it’s the best media to convey the message and connect with the target audience. Have videos for all stages of buyer journey share upload it on YouTube and Vimeo. Don’t forget the 3. Point create a video in regional languages.

The above suggestions are just a few ways you can reach the complex Indian SMB market but do remember it’s a complex market you should be creative and innovative in your digital marketing strategy and implementation.

If you have any new way to reach the market do comment and share your experience/idea.