As we come to the close of first quarter of 2019, we have had very interesting conversations with business owner’s during networking sessions and meetups in Washington DC. Everybody is excited about digital marketing and value that it delivers for small and mid sized businesses, but we believe there is considerable value on the table that remains to be unlocked.
Time to move digital beyond just a channel
The underlying power of digital is the flatness and democracy that it has brought into the whole marketing ecosystem and has made beating Goliath no longer a cost and resource intensive challenge for modern day David’s.
But unfortunately, given the underlying power of this medium, SME and SMB business owner’s still view digital marketing through a very skewed lens of tactics and channel presence rather than making it the center stage of their marketing strategy.
With the evolution of several technologies, varied SMEs and enterprises have focused on leveraging them for helping their business progress. Though we have seen unique and interesting multi channel integrated digital marketing campaigns to boost revenues and increase sales but they have missed the mark by failing to leverage it for holistic marketing strategic goals.
For business owners it is important to create an integrated digital marketing plan that needs to be fully aligned to the needs of the business looking beyond just metrics of traffic generation and online branding.
So, what is the digital marketing approach that is perfect for your business?
Creation of digital plans often rely on opportunities and problems that these businesses face personally. A good digital plan needs to be map out a path through setting goals and specific strategies for digital including integration with routine processes.
If there is no strategy or plan in place, review business issues that need to be included in a strategic review. Here are the top reasons why digital marketing should be an integral part of your marketing strategy this year:
1. Validate and pivot business objectives with the help of digital
Are you keen on gaining new customers with your plan or will stress on forging deeper relationships with existing clients? A good digital strategy enabled with analytics provides an ideal value driven approach to validating and prioritizing business objectives. An integrated digital approach will help achieve result oriented direction without causing a major churn of resources.
2. A digital marketing strategy can help you assess your audience better
Every business needs to have a proper marketing plan in place geared towards your specific set of audience. Without leveraging or marketing to the online marketplace, the dynamics handled by traditional channels will scarcely help your business to know more about your customer persona, profile and behavior. With digital, businesses can understand their competitors, their propositions, and options available to the larger audience in a very effective and efficient manner. With several tools related to digital platforms available, businesses can understand their customer demand, with a thorough search gap analysis based on keywords. The intent can be mapped to your marketing strategy too.
3. Without digital you are giving your competition an edge
By not opting for a digital plan or proper allocation of resources to digital marketing, any business is bound to fail. Competitors are presently swarming over each other, taking up chunks of the audience as their clients. With an ad-hoc approach with no direction to your marketing strategies, your competitors will surely devour your digital lunch.
4. Navigate to the true north of your value proposition with ease
Many businesses try multiple efforts to outline a defined customer value proposition that attend to the pain points of their audience. A smart digital marketing strategy can help you tailor your offerings based for your target customer personas, by helping you dig into digital patterns and find what engages the audience and encourages loyalty.
5. Simplifying the capabilities to understand and hear customers
The digital channel is the "most measurable marketing channel ever". Any analytics channel will register volumes of visits, but will not explore the sentiment of visitors that you need to forge marketing tactics. With an efficient digital marketing plan, website user feedback tools to identify your weak points and then address them.
6. Integrating offline and digital can help measure overall marketing effectiveness
Digital marketing activities are commonly implemented in silos. Many companies feel it is easier to package the process into chunks, but the fact is, the approach is less effective. Digital media is effective when integrated with all other marketing approaches including traditional media and response mediums. An integrated digital marketing strategy can combine multiple digital marketing activities for the business with a better realization of objectives.
7. Bring agility and responsiveness to your marketing
Insufficient resources and budget often play havoc with small and mid sized businesses ability to shift to volatile market trends especially when it comes to spreading the message across all communication channels. A well planned digital strategy brings in the responsiveness to roll out changes in communication messages across all channels with relative ease bringing in the key element of speed.
8. Without an integrated marketing strategy, money and time is wasted through duplication
Even with the allocation of sufficient resources, time and money may still be wasted. It is evident with larger companies where marketing departments spend on different tools and technologies but without basic integration of marketing processes, most online marketing tasks get duplicated leading to wastage of resources.
9. Get better agility to stay ahead of competition through digital marketing
All top online brands perform dynamically with new approaches to engage online audiences. They rely on digital marketing strategies to stay ahead of the competition, changing their campaigns based on the market scenario.
10. Lack of optimization leads to lower chances of success
Every company relies on analytics to measure their marketing campaign success. But managers need to rally teams to review and act on the results of those campaigns. Without optimal use of previous marketing approaches and strategies, companies will fail to reap maximum success. Optimization leads to better use of search marketing, user experience, and social media marketing.