4 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need Digital Marketing
We live in a fascinating technological environment. The evolution of media continues onward, and the pace only seems to be quickening with each year. Recently, I attempted to explain to my teenage daughter what it took to create a mix tape of songs that I liked when I was her age. As I described the process, it became clear that the effort was too much for the result in her estimation. Spending that much time and energy to create a mix of preferred recordings just wasn’t of interest to her.
And why would she see it any way different? To her, within just a few clicks, and within a matter of a minute or two (at most) invested into the project, she can have the same result on a digital platform such as YouTube. And her version won’t even require the patience to fast forward and/or rewind when she wants to access the next song.
A lot has changed in 25 years.
It’s a similar story when it comes to comparing present day marketing to the efforts of previous generations. In years past, traditional marketing professionals would spend time crafting messages that would carry to mass audiences through print, radio, or television. The success of these efforts would be measured over lengthy amounts of time, and often it was never truly known just how successful certain campaigns were. Analytic tracking was merely something to be dreamed of. Marketing professionals caused many CEO’s frustration as statistics were often wildly skewed, misleading, or incomplete.
Today, marketing to mass audiences coupled with murky data are about as relevant as cassette mix tapes.
Digital marketing enables on-demand luxuries which marketers of yesteryear couldn’t comprehend. Today’s digital initiatives are especially important for small businesses, who, with finite marketing budgets, demand the best bang-for-buck with each precious marketing dollar spent.
Here 4 reasons why digital marketing is imperative for small businesses:
1. Real Time Analytics Tell the Story: Today, we have the ability to see how ads are converting, what rankings are being achieved, and how much revenue we are generating within the same amount of clicks it takes to create one of those music playlists. Simply put, if the marketing initiative is set up properly, the performance will be trackable and measurable at all times.
2. Target Audiences are Easy Targets: Unlike traditional marketing, digital initiatives grant the ability to target the right persona, eliminating the tiresome and expensive exercise of promoting messages to uninterested audiences. Today targeted ads are implemented around the clock to specific personas who are identified as ideal customers. Social media platforms like Facebook allow companies to market to lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences are compiled by the platform which enables your business to target those identified as similar in behavior and demographic to your best existing customers. The science is real, and though imperfect at times, it’s quite impressive.
3. Pivot For Less: In decades past, when an advertisement was printed on a billboard or inside a magazine, the process to edit existing advertisements was expensive and time consuming. In present day digital marketing, if an ad isn’t converting as hoped, it can be edited and relaunched with a more compelling message or strategy within a matter of minutes. Gone are the days where a small business would live or die with one particular advertisement, today immediate edits give scaling companies the chance to live and fight another day with constantly evolving versions of the outreach.
4. Overall Strategy Evolution: Famed marketer, Al Ries once said “Marketing is like the income tax, each year it becomes more complicated”. Building your brand in this new age is an exciting challenge as more distribution channels are available to tell your company’s story. This is a good thing. If managed correctly, the market place is far more friendly to small businesses than it was 50 years ago. The overall strategy can be deeply customized depending on target audience. Single method medium strategies should never be viewed as appropriate because smart companies understand which channel mix will provide the strongest opportunity to get in front of the customer. It may not always be an exact science, but with the data that is collected each day, it’s getting more and more refined. Understanding customer behavior has never been easier.
For the reasons above (and truthfully many more), digital marketing has become a necessary component of any successful business plan, but especially important for small businesses that are looking to scale. The days of dumping marketing spend into initiatives which are foggy and lacking an educational feedback component for the marketer are fading. With time, scientific elements of measurement within marketing stand to gain additional momentum as the customer journey also evolves in its own respective direction.
What remains true is that now, more than ever, the small, scaling business needs to adopt a digital friendly approach to the marketing messages they generate and distribute. As that strategy is embraced, successes will not be far behind.
And for those still not convinced, I hear that you can buy dual cassette tape recorders for fairly cheap on eBay.
Revmarka is reliable outsourced marketing for your business. Founded by marketing leader, Eric Dahl, Revmarka benefits companies with best-in-class fractional CMO and marketing consulting services. At Revmarka, our hyper-focused approach towards promoting your value allows us to maximize ours.