It's not about you, silly!

"Drawing on a wealth of experience within the creative design and marketing arena, we at Room 58 have helped to generate significant return on investment and increased brand awareness for all of our blue-chip and SME clients."

The above quote came from the home page of a seemingly respectable creative agency. And yet, it says exactly nothing about what the agency does or why YOU, the reader, should give them even a minute of your time.

I bet when a company looking for a creative agency is searching on Google, they enter anything but "return on investment" as their keyword. Also, what exactly is "significant?" ROI is notoriously hard to measure with creative work, but I am glad someone is getting "significant" returns on it.

However, the second part of the sentence, talking about "blue-chip and SME clients" is the true reason for this rant of mine. These two categories of clients would look good on a quarterly report, but have absolutely nothing to do on a home page of a company, since nobody will type in a search for "marketing for SME."

For the longest time, terms "SMB and SME"* have been a pet peeve of mine, because all they really say is "customers who are too small for our sales people to bother talking to directly, and we'd rather they self-service or talk to our partners."

This is why in my professional life, whenever a colleague comes to me for help setting up an "SMB program" I ask "are you sure that your target audience self-identifies as SMB?"

Seriously, do you expect Joe Blow to come to work one morning and realize "Hey I need product XYZ for my business, but my company is too small for Megacorp to bother returning my calls, so why don't I google for 'XYZ for SMB' instead? Surely they will have a microsite for small fry like me!"

Chances are, Megacorp will have a page like this, only it will be frequented by its partners, not SMBs.

Just because it is convenient for you to define a target group in a certain way, doesn't mean that they will automatically self-identify and embrace such definition.

In marketing, it is never about you. It's about who you want to reach.

* SMB stands for "small and medium size business." By the same token, SME means "small and medium size enterprise." Because "enterprise" is so much cooler-sounding than "business," and everything has to be "enterprisey" these days.

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