Britain’s small businesses must balance a changing customer landscape with the often limited resources on hand. This is true across all industries.

In an increasingly digital world, customers demand more accessible, portable, flexible or customised products and services. This is what we are accustomed to in our personal lives and when interacting with larger businesses.

How can small businesses accommodate this demand with the limited resources available? After all, in smaller firms multiple roles and business requirements are often stretched across departments or individuals, or they’re completely non-existent. This complicates unearthing the digital priorities that could make a difference to the bottom line.

There’s no reason small businesses can’t prioritise digital transformation strategies as highly as their enterprise counterparts. And a good place to start? Think big. Small businesses should adopt enterprise-level thinking, especially in marketing, which, according to Gartner, will account for the main area of IT spend next year.

Ambitious small businesses and those hungry for innovation, should now be looking to the next chapter, and applying the approach of an enterprise CMO. Here are key tips you should prioritise today to remain competitive:

Get back to basics with your digital marketing strategy

Digital platforms need simple integration, uncomplicated management and the ability to measure performance impact to the business in the shortest possible time. It’s an increasingly complex minefield of products and when choosing a new tool, take the time to check how easily it can be integrated into your existing ecosystem. According to a recent WP Engine study, 65% of CMOs cited ease of integration as their number one priority in this situation – ahead of pricing, security and market share. This is particularly important, as you won’t want to throw out existing tools that employees are familiar with. An open source platform empowers the flexibility and simple integration required.

Re-evaluate your options

Senior marketers don’t want to sit still and wait for their eggs to hatch, and rightly so. Our study found that the next year promises constant re-evaluation of platforms and continuous investment. Specifically, 76% of CMOs want to realise changes to their marketing platforms within the next 12 months. An additional 20% intend to make the changes immediately. There is no time like the present to take the lead.

Don’t under estimate the barriers to successful adoption

The value businesses can extract from their digital platforms is clear. When evaluating your digital strategy, it’s imperative to choose the right technology partners, carefully assess the suitability of digital tools and hire the right mix of skills to ensure your business thrives into the future. The following questions should help you on your way:

  • Is your current digital portfolio fit for purpose?
  • Are you making the most of the capabilities on your existing technology?
  • Have you checked that it is future-proof?
  • Is it simple to integrate, and use?
  • Does it meet the digital needs of your customers?
For the modern CMO, an effective, integrated and measurable digital marketing strategy is critical to deliver seamless customer experiences that extend from brand promise to delivery. The same applies whether you are a multinational enterprise or small start-up.

By demystifying technology options, simplifying the systems, and considering any barriers to success, small businesses can ensure that they are making the right decisions that will better their business.

By Fabio Torlini, MD EMEA, WP Engine