Small and medium-sized enterprises are an important part of the economy as they contribute approximately 45% of the entire industrial output of the country. It provides employment to more than 40% of the Indian population and creates over 1.3 million employment opportunities every year.
As part of the industry with over 48 million members, SMEs are trying to continue their existence and revenue growth. Out of the many challenges they face, finding cost-effective ways of reaching out to many more potential customers is a key challenge. And an important opportunity presented here by digital technology is the borderless market offered by the internet. The internet consists of 42.3% users out of the total global population.
This is a rich market if only SMEs would find a better approach to use this opportunity. Here are some of the ways through which the Indian SMEs can utilize the digital technology to enhance their existence and growth.
Establishing brand value
In today’s world of technology, brand value is established by its presence online, whether it’s a service or a product. This is because it’s the place where people start searching for information whenever they want to buy. Therefore, if a user sees the name of a business on the web, they are automatically convinced that the business is credible and offers top quality products. As such, SMEs in India can start establishing the value of their brands by building websites with great user experience and with relevant content.
Visibility of SMEs is a greater challenge and this is particularly why some are still lagging behind. For instance, if a product is produced for INR 1,000 in India and similarly produced by an SME in China for INR 1,500, a buyer from another country would buy the product that is listed at the top of search engine results. Hence if the Chinese one is listed at the top, it would be bought, not because the Indian version of the product is bad, but because it’s not visible. Making use of proper digital marketing by SMEs improves their product visibility as well as engagement. Building a website isn’t enough, but ensuring that the web content is SEO friendly by use of relevant keywords and proper structures is key.
Standing out from the crowd
Building a website and building proper visibility is quite easy, but that’s just a start. There are other SMEs out there so every SME needs to stand out from the others. Integration of digital marketing strategy that’s aligned with what an SME is offering is important. SMEs can, therefore, make use of strategies such as emails, social media, and search engines to exploit each opportunity available. Using email marketing strategy will enhance user engagement and reaching out to a wider market. Search engine optimization will enhance business visibility while social media such as Facebook will boost customer engagement as well as creating brand loyalty.
Rising from the comfort zone will require strong dedication and implementation of a vast digital technology. All SME’s in India should commence their implementation of digital transformation into their business in order to compete with the larger and tech-savvy competition.