Big businesses look to SMEs for marketing inspiration

David and Goliath. The FA Cup third round. There are plenty of examples of small triumphing over big, but in business, it is generally accepted that larger is better. Bigger budgets, more resources, greater power and higher profile brands are all the things that most small business owners have traditionally coveted.

But this situation may be changing as it seems the big guns are turning to the little guys for inspiration.

The BBC has written a fascinating piece about this phenomenon and it uses Pepsi’s change of strategy as a high profile example. For years Pepsi has splashed out big bucks on global superstar endorsements and advertising campaigns but it recently ditched its glitzy advertising in favour of a social media campaign.

It’s a strategy the company has continued with the announcement of the PepsiCo10 – a group of UK and European technology start-ups that will be receiving financial help in return for working with PepsiCo on “innovative marketing”.

Now, admittedly Pepsi spent $20million on its social media campaign, but nonetheless they have opted for the tools that are within reach of even the smallest SME, because that’s where their customers are. And they know that no matter how big their budgets, they will never be as innovative or nimble as a start-up business.

Here at 08Direct, we love this changing balance of power because our whole ethos is to work with ambitious SMEs and provide them with tools to help them prosper. That’s why we’ve invested heavily in our systems and infrastructure to bring big business telecoms functionality within reach of small businesses.

The question is, if the global conglomerates try to act more like SMEs will they fall flat on their faces? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, fellow SMEs, let’s continue to run rings around them!


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