The type of your business, where it is now, and where you want it to go in the future all play a role in whether or not it is relevant for digital marketing. If you are a dairy farmer in rural Ireland, for example, with a fixed contract to deliver milk to the local co-op and little, if any, scope or ambition to expand and grow your business year after year, internet marketing is probably not for you. Likewise, if you’re a small butcher with a loyal following in a busy market town in the English Peak District and just want things to stay the same, you’ll probably be fine without internet marketing. If, on the other hand, you are a Peak District butcher trying to expand your product range, widen the scope of your business and start selling your high quality organic produce to restaurants and hotels in across the country, then welcome to the world of internet marketing.
In reality, very few businesses these days can’t take advantage of some form of digital marketing, even if it’s just providing basic information, sending occasional updates to existing customers via an email newsletter or RSS feed, and create an online brochure telling people what you do.
Whether you run a home-based lifestyle business selling hand-embroidered cushion covers, a small artisan food manufacturer, a budding restaurateur, or oversee a large global organization, a growing portion of your customer base is already online. , and more and more are joining every day. Clearly, the more your target market relies on these Internet channels for information, research, and purchase, the more important digital marketing becomes to the long-term success of your business.
Digital marketing – yes or no
When it comes to determining if your business needs a digital marketing plan, there are only two key questions you need to answer. It is as follows:
1. Is my target audience online or will it be? If your customers are using digital technology to seek out and/or acquire the products and services you offer, you need to embrace digital marketing immediately in order to engage and retain them. If they don’t, then neither do you. That’s all there is to it. Keep in mind that as the next generation of consumers become your new customers, they will expect more digital interaction from your business. If you are unable to meet their expectations, they may choose to spend their money elsewhere.
2. Is digital marketing suitable for my products/services/brands? This is a tough question, but the answer is almost always yes. It doesn’t usually matter what your product, service or brand is: as long as you’ve proven that there’s a potential audience online (see question 1), you should promote it online. While some products and services are clearly more suited to buying and performing online than others (digital files such as e-books or music come to mind), many products that few people would never imagine buying on the Internet being effectively advertised through digital. Consumers use the Internet to research, evaluate and compare their options. They make purchase selections based on the quality of their online experience, then visit a physical store to complete the transaction. Boats, vehicles, houses, apartments, horses, tractors, etc., everything is actively and successfully advertised online.
Developing a digital marketing plan
The next step is to sit down and outline your approach if you have concluded that you should, in fact, pursue some type of digital marketing. Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” strategy. solution. No one, including ourselves, has a magic recipe for ensuring your digital marketing success (despite some online hyperbole you may read on the subject).
Essentially, each business must develop its own unique strategy based on its specific set of conditions while the elements are the same (and we’ll go over the most important ones later in the book), the resulting techniques can be quite different. It’s only common sense if you’re selling apples by truck to local grocers, your strategy will be very different from a company selling downloadable e-books and financial trading reports, which will be very different from a manufacturer of sportswear that wants to cut out the middleman and sell directly to consumers on the Internet. Different products, markets and needs require different solutions. In summary, the people who know your business best are in the best position to create your digital marketing plan.
Build strong digital foundations
The good news is that you’ve probably already started building your digital marketing plan. You’ve most likely thought about digital marketing in the context of your business, what your competitors are doing online and why, how your customers and prospects are incorporating digital technology into their lives, and how best to leverage those exciting new digital technologies. channels to foster longer, more productive relationships with them before you even pick up this book. These are the things that will form the foundation of your digital marketing strategy.
● Know your business: Is your business ready to embrace digital marketing? Is it possible to promote your products or services online? Do you have the necessary technology, expertise and infrastructure? What role will digital marketing play in your current business operations? Is it necessary to change these processes, and are you and your team ready to do so?
● Know your competitors: who are your main competitors in the digital market? Are they the same as your competitors in the real world? what are they doing correctly (imitating them)? What are they doing wrong that you can learn from? What exactly are they not doing (is there an opportunity for you?)? How to stand out from their online offer? Remember that in the digital age, competition can be from the neighborhood or from around the world. The same technologies that allow you to reach a wider geographic market also allow others to reach your local market. When you go online, you’re playing in a global game, so don’t just watch the local competition.
● Know your customers: who are they and what do they expect from you? Are you planning to serve the same customers online or are you targeting an entirely different demographic? How are your target customers using digital technology and how can you use this information to build a productive, long-term connection with them?
● Know what you want to accomplish: If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably never get there. What are your goals for digital marketing? A major aspect of your digital marketing plan is setting clear, quantifiable, and achievable goals. Do you want to increase online sales, develop targeted leads, increase brand awareness with online communities, all of the above, or something different? Your goals serve as benchmarks against which you can gauge the success of your digital marketing activities.
● Know how you’re doing: Compared to other forms of promotion, the results of digital marketing are much more measurable. You can track everything that happens online and compare your progress against predefined goals and KPIs (KPIs). What is the status of your digital campaign? Is it true that some digital channels generate more traffic than others? Which give? What about conversion rates: how much of that extra traffic translates into revenue for your business? Measure, adjust, refine and measure again. Iterative digital marketing is an ongoing process.
The process of formally defining your digital marketing strategy pushes you to sit down and critically examine the market you operate in, as well as consider the many components of your organization and how digital marketing could help you. to achieve your business goals. Don’t get too caught up in the details of digital marketing; remember, these are people communicating with other people. Technology is simply the piece in the middle that makes this possible. Your strategy should give you a high-level framework – a birds-eye perspective of the digital marketing world with your business front and center – the details coming later.