I was just reading an article from MarketingProfs about how small companies can topple the Goliaths in their industry.  Large companies often have a lot more resources and budget in marketing to really make an impact in the marketplace (although I know a lot of you out there will disagree!).  However, these same advantages can often be a disadvantage because the larger budgets come with more bureaucracy.  The environment is such today that it is relatively easy for a small company to come in and quickly unseat a giant through a variety of online efforts.  And it can be hard for a large company to decide to move quickly enough to react to this.

So what can you do to ensure you stay nimble?  First and foremost, don’t get too comfortable with any marketing techniques.  Make sure you are going to marketing conferences, tracking marketing experts through social media and keeping a close eye on your small competitors as well as your large ones.  Social media is one of those areas where many large companies have been very hesitant to go, but small companies can easily get out there in social media for very little cost and make a big splash.  If you aren’t keeping up on the latest in marketing, you’d easily miss this trend.

Secondly, don’t plan your marketing year out too far in advance.  You can allocate your budget among the different tactics, but leave the topics for your campaigns flexible.  Plan once a quarter if not once a month for your upcoming campaign topics.  This forces you to keep looking at what your customers want rather than plan out according to your internal product development path or sales goals.

And finally, enable local offices to do their own marketing.  Setup plug and play campaigns and the tools to execute them.  And then let your local offices decide which campaigns to run and when.  They are closer to your customers than you are sitting in your corporate office.  They know their marketplace and the competition.  And same goes if you use channel partners, as well.  Focus on enabling instead of doing it for them.