B-Side Marketing ProjectVol. 9: B-Side Canada Brand Study, Fall 2014
SBOs want to work for themselves, not by themselvesBy nature, Small Business Owners (SBOs) are an independent bunch, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need, want, and expect help from the brands they do business with.
Working Their Way Back
Canadian SBOs’ go, go, go work style was wearing on them early this year. Despite this hectic start, SBO optimism begins to rebound.
- Spring 2014: 66%
- Fall 2014: 68%
Expected substantial growth
- Spring 2014: 8%
- Fall 2014: 18.7%
SBOs Have A Problem, But Aren’t Getting A Lot Of Help
The fast pace threatens the fragile life / work balance. SBOs need help taking the pressure off at work, but they aren’t getting it.
Life / Work Balance
- Life / Work Balance is challenge (up 24.1%)
- Life / Work Balance is hardest part about running a small business (up 9%)
Less effective: Brands struggling to connect with SBOs
- 56% of SBOs think brands market to them effectively (dropped 21%)
Less support: SBOs’ top frustrations with brands
- 28.7%: Non-responsiveness or lack of response
- 18%: Customer service (up 14%)
Time for a change: Top reasons SBOs switch brands
- 90% consider 3+ brands: Considering their options
- 22.7%: Bad customer service
- 15.3%: Bad experience
- 12.7%: Better product / service offered from new brand
- Decision time: 46% of decisions are made within 2 weeks (up 14.5%)
Brands Need To Be There For SBOs Before They Buy, And After
SBOs need a brand that is willing to understand them and work with them, even after a purchase is made.
Hone marketing messages: How can brands improve marketing messages?
- #1: Ensure message is relevant
- #2: Show them how the product / service benefits their business
- #3: Make it easier to access information when and where they need it
Step up customer service support:
Preferred method of contact:
- In person: 16%
- Phone: 27.3%
- Email: 40.7%
Expected response time:73.3% expect a response within one business day
Be there when it’s convenient for them:
Best chance to catch them online:Wednesday from 9a.m.–12p.m.
No time to be social:12.6% drop in business-related social media activity
Focus on media that matters: Most trusted and impactful media
- Trade shows / events: 44%
- Search engines: 34.7%
- Online communities: 22%
Follow through with your promise:
Preferred post-purchase communication
- Email: 61.3%
- Phone: 24%
- In person: 9.3%
Desired post-purchase message
- General satisfaction of product or service: 25.3%
- Special offer: 22.7%
- Customer support: 20.7%
Earn their loyalty: The top ways to keep them loyal
- #1: Prove your product / service positively impacts their business
- #2: Customer support
- #3: Rewards / incentives
Create brand advocates: What makes them recommend your brand?
- Quality / reliability: 56.7%
- Trust: 17.5%
- Good experience: 16.1%
Help Them Every Step Of The Way, And They Will Follow You AnywhereBrands must not only market to SBOs well, they must follow through with support and customer service. Brands that can deliver the entire experience will be rewarded with loyalty.
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