Influencer Series: Why It’s a Good Time to Be an SMB Marketer

by Brian Halligan, Founder and CEO, HubSpot

Brian HalliganIf you look back in time at the Fortune 500 list, you’ll notice 4% of companies fall out each year, meaning about 20 companies are new to that list each year. Since the internet, however, that churn rate has doubled; now it’s more like 50 new companies joining Fortune 500 status. That tells me it’s a great time to be an attacker, and a lousy time to be a defender.

SMB marketers should be thinking about how they can play a different game on the same field as the companies that are already out there, trying to defend their empires. How do you do that? You find a differentiator – not a niche, a differentiator. You need to set yourself apart from what’s already out there; it’s the unique SMBs that are successfully attacking these big legacy companies.

When you’ve established your differentiator, you have to become the best in the world in that thing. Lucky for SMB marketers, the internet is really, really good at identifying the best in the world at everything. Not just the best in your geography – the best in the world. The internet has flattened things. That presents both an attack opportunity for small business marketers, as well as more competition, so it’s absolutely critical that you are the best at what you do.

Being the best in the world at something sounds expensive though, right? And it would’ve been back in the day when companies were churning off that Fortune 500 list at half the rate they are today. It’s not atypical, by the way, for those guys to spend north of  1 billion dollars in marketing and advertising budgets each year. In the internet world – and more importantly, the inbound marketing world – the stuff that doesn’t work anymore is the expensive tactics. In an inbound marketing world, success is about which marketer has the biggest brain, not the biggest wallet. You demonstrate your best-in-the-world status by using your brain to create best-in-the-world content for your business, optimize it so the internet can find it, and promote it so more people see it.

The small businesses that do this won’t need a big marketing budget to get traction and disrupt – and eventually displace – legacy companies. It takes hard work and brainpower, sure, but those aren’t things most SMB marketers I know are afraid of.

 

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