How SMEs Can Prepare for the Upcoming Economy Rebound

May 20, 2020

Ever since the start of the circuit breaker the conversation amongst local SMEs have been about digitisation and solutions to make the online transition. Now, with the gradual and phased easing of circuit breaker measures set to be implemented from the 1st of June — companies who have made the digital transition must now focus their attention towards continuing their momentum and prepare for the upcoming economy rebound.

 

In a live interview with Successpedia Asia, our Director Jim discussed the current state of the digital marketing space and the steps SMEs should be taking as the economy recovers. If you missed it, here’s a handy summary of some of the pointers discussed.

SMEs and the Shift in Mindset Towards Digitisation

For many SMEs, the circuit breaker has been the push they needed to start digitising their operations. Many businesses have been adopting a wait-and-see approach towards digitisation because of the effort required — almost akin to restarting a successful business. 

 

However, the next challenge for business owners will be their willingness to invest in digital marketing and drive traffic to the digital sales channels they have created. Many businesses need to adjust their expectations and be realistic about the results digital marketing can bring.

 

SMEs must accept that digital marketing has the ability to drive impressions and traction but your business, but cannot guarantee conversions.

When Will the Rebound Arrive?

For specific industries like food, trade and retail — Jim believes that the rebound has already started. Enterprise Singapore (ESG) has provided much-needed assistance to local businesses during the circuit breaker period to transition online.

 

Many businesses will have to adapt to digital sales being their primary source of revenue, and learn how to use e-commerce to compensate for the lack of footfall. Digital marketing to drive sustained traffic to digital sales channels will be more important than ever, and something SMEs sorely need to get to grips with.

 

In April, FirstCom in collaboration with ESG helped over 2,000 F&B companies run a 1-month Social Media Marketing campaign with $1,000 ad budget to drive traffic to their digital channels. On average, each company received 600-900 enquiries, about $1 per lead. Further proof that mastering digital marketing and understanding how to drive traffic towards online platforms will be key to sustained online success. 

Preparing for the Rebound and New Norms of Digital Marketing

The key takeaway for SMEs preparing for the upcoming economy rebound is understanding how to drive online traffic. There are a plethora of online courses going around right feeding business owners with general knowledge and possibilities. But the biggest impact a business owner can make is to truly understand the costs and steps it will take to drive digital traffic to their business.

 

To this end, Jim suggests talking to friends who have done it and really develop an understanding of digital marketing and a feel of what’s involved. That way, business owners can make an informed decision and understand if they should use a 3rd party marketplace, as well as judge for themselves if the cuts on digital platforms are reasonable for their business. 

 

A deeper understanding of digital marketing will also help small business owners in other areas. Such as when they engage a digital agency or employing people to conduct their digital marketing activities. As with many business opportunities, speed is of the essence. To take advantage of the rebound, SMEs might have to turn to agencies for faster results rather than trying to learn and experiment on their own. 

 

Lastly, content creation is something most SMEs will have to learn to overcome and possibly build an appreciation for. Digital marketing campaigns are here to stay for the long term, so SMEs need to be comfortable with investing in high-quality media assets they can use to attract customers for months or even years to come (e.g. professional video shoots).

Watch the interview in it’s entirely at https://bit.ly/2Xf5n26. It’s a gold mine of insights and useful tips all SMEs can apply as the circuit breaker measures are adjusted.