The importance of a commercial strategy for an SME in 2023
In this study we will highlight the numbers of the main sectors of the Italian market, we will also reveal how the Inveco Group has faced this period from a commercial point of view.
PMI: the state of the art in Italy
Before dealing with purely strategic and commercial topics, it is necessary to make product, sector and supply chain classifications.
According to a recent census, in Italy there are 996,000 companies registered with the national Chambers of Commerce. Of these, 760,000 are SMEs, which grow by +5.6% on average per year.
86% of SMEs are «micro» (turnover less than 2 million euros).
Only 0.17% of SME turnover is reinvested in Research & Development.
In the Logistics and Transport chain there are more than 34 thousand companies that generate around €120 billion in average annual turnover and which represents 5% of the total of the other productive sectors.
The figure below highlights the different dynamics of SMEs in the various sectors based on their positioning:
- The sectors of, Machine Tools, Logistics and Transport, Technology sector, represent the sector with the best growth/risk mix.
- The single sector, Sistema Casa, represents the most dynamic sector in terms of growth.
- The Construction sector represents the sector with the highest risk compared to the average.
- The Fashion sector represents the sector with the least growth.
The manufacturing sector of machine tools and components is still today very rooted in consolidated commercial strategies, the specialized trade fairs of the sector represent the most effective commercial tool that allows companies to promote the product on the one hand and at the same time to test and market it B2B.
Logistics and transport and the technology sector are the sectors that have grown the most in recent years, e-commerce and the various digital platforms are the main architects of the important growth spurt. The question has changed, that is, the consumer culture has changed compared to 5/6 years ago. Online purchases are increasingly frequent and can be done easily behind any smartphone, tablet or PC. (estimated growth of 20% from 2021 to 2022, with a turnover exceeding 48.1 billion. Source: "B2c eCommerce Observatory, now in its twenty-second edition, during the conference promoted by the School of Management of the Milan Polytechnic and by Netcomm entitled "eCommerce B2c: towards sustainable growth". In 2023 the trend will certainly be different, thanks to the increase in energy and transport costs, the increase in raw material costs (estimated at around 65%) and the decrease in exports (estimated at around 11%, to the countries most involved in socio-political tensions). Geopolitical instability, the supply chain crisis, as well as the return to full activity of physical stores, are influencing the dynamics of consumption in Italy, which in any case is estimated to have an increase of about 8%.
Source Banca Ifis Impresa MARKET WATCH ANALYSIS 2021
The home system, understood as the sector of household appliances, cookers and furnishings, has benefited from important incentives especially during the two-year period of the pandemic. The communication and commercial strategies adopted have relied on making the consumer aware of these market opportunities. Furthermore, Italian brands are known as true manufacturing excellence capable of generating strong export attractions.
Based on the forecasts formulated by StudiaBo, on the basis of the new macroeconomic scenario of the International Monetary Fund (and available in the Datamart Forecasts of ExportPlanning), the world trade of the Home System may show an increase in euro values of +9.4% this year ( also due to the expected depreciation of the euro during the year equal to almost 5 percentage points against the dollar), corresponding to an increase of over 67 billion euros, which will make it possible to achieve a new record in turnover (equal to over 782 billion euros).
The figure below shows the continued growth of the sector also in 2023-2025. Slightly less dynamic rhythms are expected, but still largely positive (+7.1% m. per annum).
The construction sector, but also the instrumental plant engineering of buildings, is experiencing a market bubble given by the various incentives linked to tax bonuses. Between 2021 and 2022 there was strong demand with an average annual growth of over 24% and with business volumes exceeding 100 billion euros. It remains difficult to establish its real volume exactly. Construction, according to Federcostruzioni, is connected to almost 90% of the economic sectors, which makes it a central sector for our country. Companies linked to this sector have in fact developed their commercial strategies vertically using all possible tools for mass communication and promotion.
The Fashion sector in 2021 had a growth of 22.2% compared to 2020 which brings the turnover of Textiles, Fashion and Accessories back to 91.7 billion euros. There is therefore still a gap of -6.4% compared to 2019, when sales exceeded 98 billion.
Below are the main data from Confindustria Moda, the Italian Federation that brings together the associations of the Textile, Fashion and Accessory sectors. The first quarter of 2022 was positive, recording a growth trend of +14% compared to the same period of 2021. However, there is still a share of companies experiencing severe difficulties, with 18% assuming staff reductions. In fact, for 8 out of 10 companies, the increase in the cost of raw materials and the leap in the price of energy will have very heavy repercussions on the restart. (Source: Milano Finanza)
In this sector, the most frequent commercial strategies are represented by product visibility on social media with specific sponsored commercial campaigns which, on the one hand, tend to grow the brand and on the other, increase its commercial volumes and company profits. The positioning of the product on the various e-commerce platforms is finally the completion of a drastic commercial change which saw the definition of sales on the various boutiques first, then in large shopping centers, through the internet today.
Luxury brands today represent the locomotive that still drives the entire sector.
Behind these numbers there are many strategic aspects that are difficult to represent in academic form.
The common denominator on which it is worth dwelling, regardless of the product sector and the supply chain, is represented by digital communication, which has become increasingly recurring today for every company. The most common forms of communication today are represented through social media, which in the last 10 years have climbed the ranking from last to first place, overtaking in sequence: a) billboards, b) telephone, c) radio, d) cinema and television .
The secret of the affirmation of the primary social media, as opposed to traditional tools, is given by the direct relationship between people and consequently between supply and demand, a global, fast, intuitive and therefore communicative involvement, but with savings considerable and significant on the marketing campaigns of each company.
The importance of defining a commercial strategy for an SME is a fundamental prerequisite for business continuity. In this historical phase of the market, where the frenzy to change shape is the master, the important thing is to have proactive ideas to be updated constantly and in a programmed way, whatever commercial strategy is behind it is fine, as long as it reflects the company values and the size of the organization of the enterprise.
If an SME wants to keep up with the markets and with the competition, it must necessarily define its commercial strategy upstream, the consumer today is much more informed and attentive to the continuous commercial stimuli that he receives every day at any time from day to night, the barriers are now demolished and the proposition is vertical and above all global. Given this scenario you are either IN or OUT, there is no in-between.
The strategies of the Inveco Group
The post-Covid period for the Inveco Group was a very intense and above all reflective period, seen by all resources as the beginning of new opportunities.
The digital acceleration of relationships has simply accelerated the transformation in the way we think, present ourselves and offer our services to potential clients.
Engineering services, like any other service to be provided, are successful only through notoriety and referencing. In mid-2021 we imagined making the first aspect, notoriety, grow by focusing on the development and power of social media, but in parallel, we continued to operate through our network of top-level professional acquaintances, precisely creating references for future opportunity.
We have also mapped all the commercial processes, because we are aware that in our sector having new commercial contacts means sowing slowly to reap in the long term.
The results obtained are tangible and stimulating for the future, we have implemented new projects with established customers and above all acquired new customers. Our brand reputation has grown exponentially, achieving +800% in visits to our social channels, LinkedIn above all. Thanks to the lead generation actions on the platform, we have managed to acquire new and real customers from all over the country. Finally, we have modified our commercial propositions by focusing heavily on the after-sales phases.
As we have already said in the previous paragraphs, "any commercial strategy an SME has is fine, as long as it reflects the corporate values and the size of the company's organization". We have undertaken our path by understanding first of all what our past represented, "who we were" as opposed to "who we are". We then defined our new objectives believing in constant and continuous corporate communication and promotion, almost as if it were a Chinese drop, which can make us known and at the same time consolidate the professional relationships between us and our customers.
With pride and pride we are very satisfied with the path we are on, we are because we believe in it first of all.