In SMB Market, Size Does Matter

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Many enterprise tech vendors are finding it difficult to crack the SMB market, at least in part because SMBs all "look the same" to them.


Vendors fail to account for the differences in buying behavior between the small and the medium, the small and the really small, and so on, says AMI-Partners.


As detailed in a vnunet.com article, the research firm reports that SMBs fall under four categories. Sitting atop the SMB food chain are "enterprise adopters," which approach IT solutions in much the same way as bigger companies -- and not coincidentally account for the lion's share of IT spending among SMBs.


The other three categories: "early adopters," which are interested in using IT to drive productivity but lack the resources needed for big tech implementations; "value adopters," which are highly focused on cost control and only adopt IT solutions after other SMBs have done so; and "needs help adopters," which shy away from IT solutions until they risk losing customers or suppliers.


Just 6 percent of SMBs are enterprise adopters, says AMI-Partners. Enterprise and early adopters are more comfortable than their SMB peers buying IT solutions directly from software vendors.


Though it may not be what they want to hear, an AMI-Partners analyst advises tech vendors to develop separate marketing strategies for each of the four SMB segments.