Smarter marketing for ambitious SMEs

Smarter marketing for ambitious SMEs{{}}Originally broadcast live, this panel discussion about marketing strategy for small firms raises some useful points on everything from the value of social media, PR and exhibitions to branded vehicles

Sharing their experiences and advice are: Andrew Brunden, owner and director of luggage company, Patrona, Allan Blair from digital agency, Tribal London and Mark Hopkins, head of marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

The greatest marketing initiatives may be clever and memorable, but of even more importance will be the simple fact that they helped a company sell more of its product or service to even more customers.

For SMEs, marketing has always been something of a challenge.  It’s often not a skill that many small business owners have a great deal of experience in when starting out.  Budgets are often limited and it can be difficult to decide upon the best way to spend the money that’s been set aside and to identify prospective new customers to target.

Today customers expect all businesses to be using social media, but how do you make the most of your website blog or effectively exploit the likes of Twitter and Facebook?  After all, there is no point in having a social media presence for the sake of it “because everyone else does.”

So what are the most effective marketing methods to reach out to new customers?  What are the affordable techniques that an SME can use to understand the behaviour of their customers?  And how can business owners best use those methods and techniques to appeal to and help win new customers?

Joining us in this webTV show is Andrew Brunden, owner and director of luggage company, Patrona. Andrew quit his day job as a surveyor three years ago after he solved a problem that had been annoying him for ages – how could he cycle or run to work and still have a freshly pressed shirt to wear.  He developed the ‘shirt shuttle’ which, thanks to a smart approach to his marketing , became a bestseller and helped him win the support and investment from, amongst others, design & retail guru Sir Terence Conran.

Also joining us is Allan Blair, head of social media at digital marketing agency, TribalDDB.  Allan has been advising companies on their marketing plans for over 12 years so is excellently placed to suggest how to identify which opportunities are right for you and your business.

Alongside Allan is Mark Hopkins, Head of Marketing, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles who will explain how SMEs can apply big thinking, but small cost solutions to help market their products and services.