Businesses like people have a reputation and a ‘good name’ to protect.

Looking at marketing campaigns and lead generation strategies nowadays I often wonder if businesses care about their good name. Has the quantity of leads become more important than the quality of leads?

Are there any of us who don’t receive indiscriminate and unsolicited cold calls on a regular basis? Who hasn’t been told they’ve won a prize just to realise the offer was only there for the purposes of obtaining your contact information?

These tactics may be fine for large organisations selling “widgets”. Small hit rates with a wide base may work for them, but when it comes to SMEs, such tactics are not advisable.

Digital marketing today allows small business to be more ‘visible’ and competitive alongside big businesses.

SMEs often sell niche products or services; however, the bottom line is that if they have no competitive advantage through customisation, quality or service, they will lose out to larger business through sheer economies of scale.

Entrepreneurs are busy people.

As their businesses grow, they often have too much to do leaving little time to go out and look for customers. With the many different marketing tactics being sold every day, entrepreneurs often take the ‘band aid’ approach, and engage expensive digital tactics in order to generate more leads. These tactics are sometimes better suited to big business and are thus ineffective for many SMEs.

SMEs should be careful with their lead generation strategies.

They need to be focused on keeping their ‘good name’ intact when they enter the market place looking for new leads.

Does this mean they can’t use aggressive lead generation tactics? Not at all -they just need to ensure that they focus their efforts on creating good leads through acceptable means, instead of just creating leads.

SMEs, just like larger companies need strategic marketing plans.

They need to integrate traditional and digital marketing methods in a focused and ethical way; not just ‘throw wheat at a barn door’ and hope it will stick. Focus your message on your specific segment and create one that is both attractive and builds confidence in your company.

SMEs don’t have the staff to sift through hundreds of leads to qualify them. Ensure your tactics bring a smaller number of good quality leads, rather than hundreds of dubious quality.