By Navya Naveli Nanda and Madhura DasGupta Sinha
Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Diwali was around the corner and Neeti (name changed), a young mom was getting ready for her big sale online. Neeti has a small growing business – Neeti’s Ethnicwear Boutique – selling children’s ethnic wear with a growing following on Instagram. She took pride in the fact that she had a minimal advertising budget and her beautiful products drove healthy sales. Neeti hired extra help for the festive season and stocked up inventory. But suddenly, the sales stopped! Neeti was at her wit’s end.
Neeti was not alone. MSMEs like hers can rarely invest in large marketing teams or power-packed campaigns as they have minimal budgets. In fact, many women entrepreneurs lack awareness around different social media platforms and channels that can be used effectively to target and re-target potential customers. They also often lack the expertise to create attractive photographs and videos that create ‘thumb-stopping’ moments in the consumer journey. They do not have the ability to analyse data from the social media streams to sharpen their digital presence.
Neeti researched and hired a young digital marketing intern, who explained and detailed to her the importance of focused targeting in running marketing campaigns and ads. The new hire also suggested improving the creative assets to ensure more clicks/interest in the ad itself. This can be done through online tools such as Canva, that hold a large creative library to choose from along with the freedom to customize specifically for your brand.
Neeti reached out to some of the members in her WhatsApp groups, and realized that there were some great communities that supported women entrepreneurs. Once joining some of these communities, Neeti realized that she was able to find a larger target audience for her brand that allowed her to focus her marketing efforts more. They also gave her further visibility through social media, by sharing her brand/product to their following and audience, resulting in higher order before Diwali. She was able to make larger sales through the community, and decided to become a permanent member.
A few weeks later, the community lead invited her to apply for a women-entrepreneur-only funding opportunity. Neeti was selected for the cohort, learned how to pitch and landed her first investor!
For a happy ending like Neeti’s. MSMEs can
- Use social media for advertising, but also analyse data such as page analytics, engagement rate
- Instead of expensive marketing options, look at freelance marketing availabilities (student community, return to work); digital marketing interns/graduates who are looking for experience
- Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate!
- Join communities and collaborate – they can drive visibility through pop-ups, shout-outs, posts and influencers! They often offer mentorship and other business resources.
Navya Naveli Nanda is the Co-founder of Aara Health and founder of Project Naveli. Madhura DasGupta Sinha is the Founder and CEO of Aspire For Her. Views expressed are the author’s own.