This is how the coronavirus changed the Hungarian SME marketing market

Since March, the world has been turned upside down. Companies, and even entire industries, have been brought to their knees, while others have soared to new heights. Almost everyone has been fighting for survival, some due to plummeting revenues, others due to the brutal increase in orders and turnover. SME marketing has not been left untouched by these changes.

We have compiled the most important changes that the coronavirus has brought, or amplified.

Everyone went online in SME marketing

Those who could (and hadn’t done so before) digitized their business. They built an online store, developed online courses, and produced video products. For those starting from scratch, it was more difficult. They had to adapt to a completely unknown world from one moment to the next. But there were very good examples of how to build an online presence from nothing. In certain industries, this step was easier. For example, a restaurant could relatively easily switch to delivery with the help of delivery companies. But a traditional dance school faced a much more difficult situation. As the experience is largely based on personal interaction and teamwork. However, we can find good examples of this as well! For example the Royal Dance Studio quickly responded to the changes with its online courses and managed to maintain an online presence with a fundamentally offline product.

Webshops and the adaptable ones went big

Those who had already established the possibility of online sales (supply chain, webshop, logistics) benefited greatly. They were able to realize a significant portion of their annual revenue in just 2 months (!) (of course, this also came with increased logistical burdens and could have caused problems in the supply chain). If the sales process was in order, working with a well-functioning, optimized webshop, it was enough to focus on online marketing.

With product ranges adjusted to changing needs (e.g., a cosmetic webshop introducing disinfectant products to the market, like Tihanyi Lavender Manufactory,or Inspiromed Respiratory Center and Sleep Clinic, which responded to consumer demand with online consultations and COVID tests), The restructuring of the product structure could have been a lifesaver in certain sectors: Chesscom instead of total bankruptcy and closure, Chesscom Hotel now offers its rooms at a discounted rate for longer stays to those voluntarily quarantining, or as temporary accommodation without a deposit for those spending longer periods away from home due to work commitments.

Change in SME marketing spending

I encountered two extremes here. A small portion of our clients immediately stopped their marketing spending. I partly understood the decision in some cases. Travel agencies had little to advertise as it became completely uncertain when they could start new trips. And they could have faced cash flow problems due to refunds for canceled trips, so it was a logical step to cut costs immediately.

But there were also sectors where the reduction in marketing spending or even canceling the online marketing agency contracts was more driven by panic than a logical business decision. It will be much more difficult for them to catch up in the market than for those who have been working on online marketing with unchanged intensity over the past 2 months, as they will have to start building from almost zero. The other extreme was a significant increase in online marketing spending of SMEs: of course, this requires a company to have immediately available reserves.

A hindrance can become a forte in SME marketing

In an environment where a significant portion of competitors withdraw from the market, it is possible to reach customers and generate revenue with less advertising noise and lower spending.

Of course, this is industry-specific. There are sectors where there was nothing to sell, but we can still find excellent examples here. The Office of the Year awards ceremony was held entirely online after thorough preparations, which has two advantages. On the one hand, it generates revenue in the form of tickets sold. And on the other hand, it has an incredibly strong brand-building effect. An event organizing company that does not cancel its programs but immediately adapts and professionally switches, makes a very good impression! So those SMEs that spent more on marketing now were able to realize greater profits for each unit spent.

We at Chiro Marketing Agency Budapest, doubled our marketing budget. We were able to almost immediately replace the lost customers and revenues. In two months, we started working with 9 new clients, which is about twice our usual acquisition rate. And we have roughly 5-10 proposals still out there, in the decision-making phase, of which I expect to close 40-60%. Of course, you might say, “we’re in an easy position” because we have a service that can be sold. But while we focused on acquiring new, immediate clients, we also devoted time, energy, and money to brand building.

Online marketing process cleanup at SMEs

Companies that could clean up their online marketing processes, and saw the importance of it, did so. In the last 2 months, our online marketing audit and online marketing strategy orders have increased by about threefold. Those who couldn’t sell directly, focused on long-term building. They cleaned up their old website, improved SEO, wrote new texts for the webshop. Some even created a new webshop, website with fresh content. Those who didn’t have a written online marketing strategy so far, now created one. Rethought their target audience, main message, pricing, and channels. Almost without exception, we started even more active competitor monitoring at all of our partners. Then we analyzed the results to find out, who, what, and how where they doing in the market.

We, at Chiro, also updated our online marketing strategy. Tried out new sales channels like cold outreach. This was not very successful, but we analyzed why not. We improved our website’s SEO, wrote blog posts, sent newsletters, created downloadable materials to collect subscribers. Updated our landing pages and references, our Google Ads and Facebook ads. Moreover, we developed new products/packages, and created support materials for existing customers to make their work smoother. And in the meantime, our new brand identity was also completed, which I will show you soon. 🙂

Of course, these are examples that I consider good, but I also know about SMEs that slowly or rather quickly gave up, sent their employees away, froze or terminated their companies. I don’t want to deal with them because I don’t consider them to be examples to follow.

There is nothing new under the sun.

No new marketing tool was born that would have saved companies with miraculous power, we did not use magic weapons and marketing agency magic to generate revenue. The role of thoughtful, quality online marketing has simply been amplified, and the pace has accelerated. Better tools, messages, texts, and graphics had to be switched to immediately. Those who successfully went through the process have secured themselves for the future (and a possible second wave of corona). In my own experience, we worked much, much more during this time than usual, and in the short term with less results. (more clients, less profit), but in the long term we laid down foundations that will be very difficult to shake in the future. It has been proven once again: SME marketing will not be successful by magically pulling rabbits out of a hat, but rather the result of consistent, persistent and precise work.

If you haven’t dealt with this issue yet, I suggest you get started as soon as possible, because the ideal time to start was yesterday. Think about your goals for the next few months and years, and lay down the marketing foundations needed to achieve them. Do you have any questions? Would you like to comment? Contact us!

Iratkozz fel hírlevelünkre!

Nyugalom, tőlünk nem spam, hanem valóban hasznos marketing trendekkel kapcsolatos levelek érkeznek majd postaládádba. Ha nem vagy megelégedve, bármikor le is iratkozhatsz majd.


Hasonló cikkek