Yellow Marketing Machine to help SMEs
Owning a small business can be a dream come true for many entrepreneurial Kiwis, but there are common pitfalls for small business owners. Having worked with SMEs for around 60 years, Yellow has used these insights to develop a new offering of needs-based solutions to help small businesses.
After all, small and medium sized businesses make up 97 per cent of New Zealand's enterprises so ensuring the backbone of our economy is thriving is critical. Yellow says there are three main points all small businesses struggle with, and now Yellow has introduced a suite of needs-based solutions to help.
Darren Linton, CEO of Yellow, understands the pain points of SMEs, especially with digital marketing, as Yellow has transformed itself from publisher of the Yellow Pages to a leading digital marketing provider with a suite of products and solutions.
Linton applauds Kiwi business owners for their innovation and adaptivity. He says the challenge now is for SMEs to keep abreast of the constantly changing digital marketing landscape.
"Yellow's legacy is that we've got decades of experience, connecting primarily small and medium businesses with customers, through a very traditional print medium," says Linton. "But of course, the world has changed completely."
Through Yellow customer surveys, Linton knows that marketing is amongst the top five challenges SME owners grapple with, alongside cashflow, business planning, technology systems, staff management and keeping track of competitors.
Three pain points are common struggles when managing these business functions:
1. Small business owners can lack skill
"Marketing was much simpler 20 years ago," says Linton. "There were only a few channels to choose from. Our book was one of those channels. Today it's a matter of choosing several options, depending on what's right for your industry, your business and your location.
"It's not uncommon for SME owners to find themselves overwhelmed. Just knowing where to start with digital marketing is the first challenge, which is why we developed Yellow's Marketing Machine for small businesses to answer some simple questions about their key marketing challenges, whether it's to get more customers, to tell their story or to gain more awareness online. Our machine then provides a recommendation of what to do and how much it will cost."
2. Small business owners are time pressured
Time pressure is stressful and can lead to mistakes and poor decision-making.
"We're all being challenged with the transformations in the world and in our businesses," says Linton. "We have simplified the marketing process for business owners so they can worry about working in their business, rather than spending time grappling with their digital marketing strategy."
3. Small business owners are often cash strapped
"We've got history and experience on our side," says Linton. "We understand this problem very well. The key is to be very clear going into any campaign about the expected outcomes for your spend."
Yellow is one of the first providers in New Zealand to offer marketing solutions on a subscription-based model, where the business gets a tailored solution for a low monthly fee. Solutions can include getting started online, growing and promoting the business, sharing with followers or creating content. The format allows Yellow to work in partnership with the business, providing monthly assessment and adjustment as the business changes and grows.
"Because we've got more than 20,000 customers in the digital space, we've got a lot of data we can use to drill down to sectors and geographical areas all over New Zealand," says Linton, "so we can recommend the right solution, based on previous experience and success.
"We're proud of Yellow's legacy of being in print. Now we're leading the way in digital marketing solutions, we're still doing what we've always done, connecting SMEs with customers."