This year is rife with small business marketing challenges. Fortunately, we have answers.
In 2023, small businesses are facing the future with a mix of anticipation and trepidation.
Fortunately, during times of recession and economic uncertainty, marketing has the power to become the guiding light that leads businesses through the storm, forging connections and illuminating pathways to resilience and growth.
But, small business marketing isn’t without it’s own set of challenges in 2023. The shifting sands of evolving technology, fierce competition, and unpredictable consumer behavior can cast a shadow of doubt on brands and marketers.
We recently had conversations with a few dozen small business owners, executives, and marketers, to get their input on the biggest small business marketing challenges they’re facing in 2023, and so many of them echoed the same sentiments:
Small business marketing is tough in 2023, but there are ways to overcome the challenges, so your brand can thrive more than ever before.
Here’s what they had to say about the biggest marketing challenges they’re seeing:
Challenge #1: Marketing Budgets are On the Chopping Block
When businesses are worried about economic uncertainty, marketing budgets are often one of the first things on the chopping block.
Moreover, finding skilled marketing and PR talent while still being budget-conscious can be a challenge for small businesses and startups.
“It’s hard for small businesses like mine to compete effectively for qualified [talent] against larger businesses with bigger budgets,” explains James Wilkinson, CEO of Balance One Supplements.
Limited marketing budgets can make it even harder for brands to attract potential customers and clients, and difficult for marketers to execute comprehensive campaigns for their clients.
Thanks to the freelancer revolution, brands can now discover specialized and affordable marketing talent online, seamlessly accessing expertise from remote corners of the world.
Whether you’re hiring marketing talent, or taking on marketing efforts yourself, embrace your budget constraints and zoom in on precision. Narrow down your target audience, and use storytelling to create impact without breaking the bank.
Remember, less can definitely be more when done right, and a well-crafted story can do wonders on a shoestring budget.
Challenge #2: Sensory Overload Is Impacting Conversions
In a world where attention spans are shorter than ever, sensory overload can impact conversions, leaving prospects lost in the noise.
Troy Portillo, Director of Operations at StudyPool, says, “Being heard among the noise is one of the biggest issues with marketing in 2023. People are constantly being bombarded with information and sales 24/7.”
Put simply, you need content that cuts through the noise.
Focus on quality over quantity. Craft content that challenges norms, sparks curiosity, and stands out amidst the avalanche of information.
Trim the excess and infuse authenticity into your messaging. Swap generic for thought-provoking, and let your content spark genuine engagement that resonates.
Wisia Neo from ViB suggests that repurposing content is another solid strategy for small business owners and marketers in 2023.
“In the tougher macroeconomic climate we’re in, it pays to prioritize a leaner approach to maximize the value of existing content. Repurposing allows you to reach new audiences or new markets, extend the lifespan of your content, and generate more leads without investing significant additional resources.”
Challenge #3: Increased Competition and Market Saturation
The small business marketplace is teeming with new contenders all clamoring for the same morsel of consumer attention.
“[A] significant challenge in 2023 is the increasing competition in the digital space. As more businesses recognize the importance of online presence, it becomes increasingly difficult for marketers to cut through the noise and stand out from competitors,” says Md. Ziaul Haque, Head of Marketing for FlexiPCB.
The challenge is in not only creating a marketing strategy that captures your audiences attention, but also sets you apart from your competition.
Set yourself apart by becoming a thought leader. Share unique insights, challenge industry conventions, and let your brand’s personality shine. Your distinct voice will rise above the competition’s roar. Be the disruptor, not the follower.
David Reid, Sales Director at VEM Tooling offers another piece of sage advice, “Brands must create clear target audience profiles and adjust their marketing strategies as necessary to overcome heightened competition and fragmented consumers.”
Challenge #4: Lead Generation Is a Mystery for Many Brands
Lead generation can pose a formidable challenge for small businesses; one that often includes having to navigate through the treacherous waters of low-quality and fake leads in order to find real, interested clients and ideal customers.
Michael Chen, Growth Director of Notta, says, “The challenge I face is generating leads and converting them into customers. While social media and email marketing are effective strategies for lead generation, converting leads into sales requires a more
Vetting lead generation partners is paramount to campaign success, as it safeguards against fake leads. Brands should scrutinize partner track records, request client referrals, and assess alignment with their unique values to establish a reliable and fruitful collaboration.
For brands and marketers taking on lead generation by themselves, it’s important to refine target audiences and prioritize authentic engagement, in order to unearth genuine, interested clients amidst the sea of low-quality and fake leads.
Challenge #5: Building Trust and Credibility as Audiences Become More Skeptical:
Consumers’ skepticism towards brands and influencers is on the rise, prompting a demand for genuine authenticity and transparent interactions. In fact, according to one story, nearly 90% of consumers have some level of mistrust towards influencers.
In a world where trust is as elusive as a unicorn, establishing credibility is your secret potion. Embrace transparency, authenticity, and deliver on your promises.
“Building authenticity and transparency, delivering exceptional customer experiences, and actively engaging with the target audience are vital for establishing credibility and trust,” offers Paul Mario Vratusha, Senior Managing Partner at D-Studio Consulting.
As audiences raise their skeptical eyebrows, be the brand they can’t help but believe in. Earn trust through consistency and watch your customer base morph into a tribe of fervent believers.
Challenge #6: Consumer Behavior is Changing
In 2023, it seems like the tides of consumer behavior are as unpredictable as a toddler’s mood swings. What worked last year might not be working today, and it can be a challenge to understand changing consumer behavior.
“Our biggest marketing challenge this year has been managing the overwhelming demand for information in an environment drastically altered by the pandemic. The ever-changing nature of the situation has led to a rapid and constant change in consumer behavior and needs, which we need to keep up with,” says Hannah Sanderson, CEO of Clever Canadian.
Dive deep into market research, decipher those data waves, and understand your customers like a well-worn book. Adapt, pivot, and tailor your offerings to their evolving desires. In this age of mercurial preferences, those who master the art of customer understanding will reign supreme.
Nikhil Ashok, Marketing Manager of Arena suggests, “Brands must remain agile and adaptable to stay ahead. Keep a close eye on emerging trends, technology advancements, and changing consumer behavior. By staying proactive and adjusting strategies accordingly, brands can seize opportunities and gain a competitive edge.”
Challenge #7: Keeping Up With Technology and Digital Transformation
The swift evolution of technology and AI in 2023 presents a dynamic challenge for marketers and small businesses, demanding an agile approach to leverage these tools while staying customer-focused. Adapting to this tech-driven landscape is the key to thriving amidst change.
Embrace the metamorphosis – adopt and adapt. Embrace AI, automation, and the ever-shifting digital landscape. Evolve with the pixels, integrate with the algorithms, and let technology become your ally, not your nemesis.
In 2023, small businesses are facing innumerable hurdles in their marketing campaigns. But with a touch of creativity and resourcefulness, those hurdles can actually become bridges to brilliance.
Whether it’s budget constraints, lack of resources, sensory overload, competition, consumer mistrust, shifting customer behaviors, or technological tango – each challenge is an opportunity for metamorphosis.
Embrace your biggest challenges as launchpads, amplify your brand’s authenticity, and wield data like a compass. This year is about embracing change.
Stay agile, evolve, and let innovation and flexibility be your anthem.
Hey small business owners, startups, and marketers!
Want to keep reach even more potential clients and customers? Consider our PR Consultation, Content Development, and Media Outreach Services if you’re interested in any the following:
- Attracting new ideal clients / customers in a competitive market
- Refining your messages and creating content your audience can relate to
- Getting mass exposure, traffic, and improved credibility through media exposure
Contact us today to learn more.