2012 will be remembered as another important year in the growth of small and medium enterprises (SME) across the world. The owners of these businesses have certainly gained better grounds through increasing business to business (b2b) commerce activities. The geographical distance between the business buyers and sellers was further reduces, leading to billion dollar revenue growth for the SME owners.
Increased government participation to aid SME sector in the countries like India was seen this year. The introduction of Procurement Policy in April and online cluster development programs are some noteworthy examples. The Ministry of MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) in the country was seen busy launching or reviving impressive schemes like credit guarantee scheme, marketing assistance scheme and international cooperation scheme.
The shift from field to digital marketing and sales approach continued in 2012 and lead to some noteworthy statistics. More numbers of SME owners were seen having business websites and utilizing online B2B directories for global exposure. Internet attained more popularity for being a cost-effective and flexible medium for all b2b related activities.
Social media on the internet needs no introduction. This year, SMEs recognized the significance of harnessing online social media tools for the purposes like business networking, direct business interactions and marketing. Online reputation management through social networking websites also impressed the business owners to build as well as retain their business image.
Content driven marketing trends in 2012 intended at informing, educating and guiding the B2B buyers. Focus was mainly on the content that can provide exposure to SME owners, but at the same time help the b2b buyers to take the right decision. Increased enquiries and visits to the business websites resulted from the trends.
Finally, the role of mobile was realized to impress the b2b buyers who travel frequently. These buyers were able to access online product catalogues and search B2B directories using mobile phones. Direct sales force became a stronger channel for the buyers and the sellers through the use of portable data.
The upcoming year will be no short of new surprises for the b2b and SME sectors. However, the participants in these sectors have enough reasons to bid adieu to 2012 on a highly positive note.