I regularly get emails from marketing research firms and ad agencies educating me on the latest and greatest trends. The other day one of these emails said that during an economic downturn SMBs will be a growth segment and there will be greater ROI in targeting them versus larger businesses or consumers. The basic reasoning was that as large company employees are laid off those folks start their own businesses and that SMB spending tends to be more consistent and stable versus consumer spending.
This latest email got me thinking about software spending for SMBs. While they may tend to be more stable during an economic downturn I wonder if it is likely for SMBs to decide to switch vendors or move to next-generation technology. SMBs are such a rich market to tap, although many struggle with exactly how to do this and our current economic situation most likely complicates that situation on both sides – SMBs having the funds to make purchases and ISVs/VARs having the funds to market to this broad audience.
I think a further exploration of these issues starts with a few questions:
What are the challenges you face in reaching SMBs?
Have those challenges changed/increased in the last few months?
Are you prioritizing the SMB audience more or less during in the last few months?