Good Practices in Marketing for Micro and Small Enterprise Products

Topic :

This paper highlights that it has been established that access to profitable markets is a key factor which determines the long-term success for all businesses. For small and microenterprises, however, various constraints limit access, such as inadequate technology, geographic isolation, lack of raw materials and inefficient production. By providing ways to overcome these constraints, marketing service providers play an essential role in developing the businesses of small and microproducers.

Marketing service providers are specialised intermediaries that facilitate access to profitable markets, whether through direct sales or via brokering or sub-contracting. In addition these intermediaries offer a variety of ancillary services, and although the demand for these services may vary depending on the targeted sector and market, this study aims to show that ancillary services often prove just as essential market access.

This paper begins by considering marketing intermediaries and their function in more details before providing a discussion on what marketing services are and how they should be provided – the latter section includes a set of principles for good practice that has been established for how best to deliver non-financial or business development services to micro, small and medium enterprises, which can be applied in general to marketing services.

The paper ends with three case studies from Latin America, which have followed the good practices guidelines set out. The paper uses the case studies to show that when working with low-income producers, institutions may choose to provide certain services without full-cost recovery, at least in the short-term. All three organisations here have been successful in providing a long-term commercial outlet for their clients’ products through effective strategies of market focus, and through a careful determination of which services are required to ensure that producers successfully penetrate the market.

The three case studies are entitled:

  • Colombia – Serving the Local Market
  • Nicaragua – Penetrating the International Market
  • El Salvador – Developing a Market Niche

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