​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Top 3 Marketing Trends SMEs should look out for in 2018​

2017 is coming to an end, and SMEs are reflecting on their performances to improve in the new year. As SMEs shift from survival to growth mode, SMEs should look towards marketing and promotional efforts to drive revenue growth and customer loyalty. 

  • Contextual Marketing

Consumers today are overloaded with information from diverse platforms, whether print or digital. While advertising seeks to capture consumers' attention, contextual marketing seeks to match advertising to the consumer. The emergence of digital advertising in the recent years has greatly facilitated contextual advertising, through behavioural targeting. SME marketers need to look at contextual marketing in 2018 to build rapport with their customers and inculcate customer loyalty. 

  • Chat Bots

Chat bots are no longer restricted to websites and are moving towards messaging applications the likes of WhatsApp and WeChat. Whether the business nature be B2B or B2C, for research or as a fun element to the business, chatbots offer great convenience to consumers whose usage of messaging apps are part of their everyday routines. SMEs should start considering chat bots to enhance service, generate marketing-qualified leads and to broaden their reach to the large volumes of people using messaging apps.

  • Socially Responsible branding

SMEs consider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to generate negligible return-on-investments. Contrary to the misconception, CSR is more than just philanthropy– it is about the business holding its values in high regard, contributing to the society's betterment, and working towards environmental sustainability. According to a 2015 CSR study, an overwhelming 91% of global consumers expect businesses to operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues. 84% would purchase from responsible businesses whenever possible. It is certainly important for SMEs to include the CSR element in their branding, and Corlison Pte Ltd​ is one SME renowned for their CSR efforts.

In the age of technological disruption, many jobs are displaced and made redundant. Corlison Pte Ltd shoulders the responsibility of caring for the aged. Even though automation of labour-intensive processes could benefit the company, Corlison chose to retain manual packing processes so as to provide jobs for mature workers. Mature workers form one-third of Corlison's workforce. ​

Through U SME​, Corlison has tapped on the Work-Life grant under WorkPro to implement and sustain work-life strategies. Its employees also attend mandatory trainings to improve their employability. 

Corlison Pte Ltd is a Partner of U SME. For more information on funding for SMEs such as Work-Life grant, please contact U SME at sme@ntuc​.org.sg​.​​​