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Global vs. local balance on reaching small businesses worldwide

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A boutique gift shop at the street corner, your friend's online store or a food stand in a park—small businesses are everywhere. If you walk around any city in Asia, you are surrounded with thriving little stores and mobile stands.

However, you rarely see any company launching a worldwide small-business campaign.

Reasons:

  • Businesses are fragmented and vertical-driven.
  • Lack of standard purchase cycles.
  • Pricing-driven purchases.
  • Strong cultural influences.
  • Customized products.

Due to the above challenges, it can be very expensive to drive a worldwide marketing campaign. The most notable one in recent years is Dell's “Take Your Own Path” global campaign targeting SMBs. Most small-business campaigns tend to be regional and country-driven, including American Express Open Forum, which is a regional initiative.

Reaching small businesses is even more challenging for Intel, given we don't sell products 'directly' to small businesses. The ways we reach small businesses are through several key distribution channels: 

  • Leveraging Intel's channel partners.
  • Engaging with Intel's customers' SMB programs.
  • Reaching government-assisted SMB programs.

Therefore, our communication strategy focuses on training the sales teams of our distribution channels well and offering marketing collateral and content for them to utilize. 

Given that reaching small businesses is a regional and country-driven initiative, what's the role of headquarters? 

Headquarter's role:

  • Create a unified small-business strategy.
  • Define “hero” products, target audience, messaging and positioning.
  • Create editorial calendar and content roadmap.
  • Produce relevant content based on the editorial calendar.
  • Determine country priority and allocate budget.
  • Establish a communication channel with the regional and country teams and adjust strategy and content, if necessary.

Local's responsibilities:

  • Fully understand headquarter's strategy and direction.
  • Create regional and country small-business plan based on headquarter's strategy.
  • Voice regional's and country's needs clearly.
  • Localize content.
  • Execute the plan.
  • Share the results with headquarters.

Even when we don't have a worldwide small-business campaign, headquarters provides global-like support to regional-driven small-business initiatives. 

How does your company reach your small-business customers?

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