Executive Briefings

Small Business Doesn't Seem to Care Much for How Big Business Markets Its Products, Services

America's 23 million small businesses should represent a giant market for big companies, particularly as small businesses leave the Great Recession in the rear-view mirror and look to invest in new equipment. One problem: Main Street doesn't seem to like large corporations much.

That's according to a recent report from the CMO Council, a trade group that surveyed 160 senior marketing executives at companies that included Capital One, SAP and OfficeMax. Seventy percent of respondents said selling to small and mid-sized businesses is "extremely important" to them, but only five percent said small businesses view big brands "very positively."

"That's kind of painful," says Liz Miller, a senior vice president at the trade group, whose 7,000-plus members spend more than $350bn on marketing each year. "You say the market is critical, you say it's going to be more important over three years, but then you say that [small business owners] don't really like you."

One reason Main Street isn't over the moon for Big Corporate: Large brands tend to lump small business into one category, says Harris, failing to adjust their sales approaches when calling on, say, an architecture firm or a tech startup. (The federal government, on the other hand, has hundreds of categories for small businesses.)

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Keywords: Big Business, SMEs, value chain, supply chain management, supply chain & marketing

That's according to a recent report from the CMO Council, a trade group that surveyed 160 senior marketing executives at companies that included Capital One, SAP and OfficeMax. Seventy percent of respondents said selling to small and mid-sized businesses is "extremely important" to them, but only five percent said small businesses view big brands "very positively."

"That's kind of painful," says Liz Miller, a senior vice president at the trade group, whose 7,000-plus members spend more than $350bn on marketing each year. "You say the market is critical, you say it's going to be more important over three years, but then you say that [small business owners] don't really like you."

One reason Main Street isn't over the moon for Big Corporate: Large brands tend to lump small business into one category, says Harris, failing to adjust their sales approaches when calling on, say, an architecture firm or a tech startup. (The federal government, on the other hand, has hundreds of categories for small businesses.)

Read Full Article

Keywords: Big Business, SMEs, value chain, supply chain management, supply chain & marketing