How important is Digital Marketing for a small business? What are the benefits of Digital over Traditional Marketing? Essentially Digital Marketing gives businesses of any size access to the mass market at an affordable price and, unlike TV or print advertising, it allows truly personalised marketing. Can you afford not to try it?
1. Changing Media Consumption Habits
Internet consumption continues to grow as audiences media consumption habits have shifted away from traditional media (TV, print, radio) to online. In fact recent research found that 87% of the Irish population now uses the Internet with 67% stating they have a Facebook account. EIAA MediaScope (2010) found that consumers in Europe spend 12 hours/week using the Internet, five hours reading newspapers and just under four hours reading magazines. Businesses of all sizes need to be where their audience is and according to research, that's online.
Source: Global Web Index
2. Low Barriers to Entry
Digital marketing can be implemented by businesses of any size. All that's needed is a great web presence, products/service to sell and a great digital strategy. There's no need for large advertising budgets and associated costs (ad agencies, ad creative costs, etc.) In fact, you can be up and running with little to no budget, as long as you have the know-how! See Top 10 Digital Marketing Tips for Cash Strapped Start-ups or 10 Tips to Market Your Start-Up on a Shoestring
3. More Cost Effective
A well executed digital marketing campaign can reach the right customers at a much lower cost than traditional marketing methods, such as TV, Radio, or Print advertising. Traditional marketers tend to spend about 60% of their budgets on paid placement, 20% on creating content, and the balance on employees/agencies. Digital channels, with their social nature, tend to reverse these economics, focusing on a smaller niche of engaged people who share information with a broader audience. Active digital marketers tend to devote approximately 30% of their marketing budgets to paid media and 50% to content. They rely on customers to do more of the heavy lifting as they decide what to look at, play with content, and forward to their online communities. By making the right investments, active digital marketers can spend significantly less on marketing as a percentage of sales, with little to no deterioration in performance.
4. Measurable and Quantifiable
Digital marketing campaign activity can be tracked so you can determine exactly what is--and more importantly, what is NOT--working and adapt your strategy accordingly to improve results. Even more importantly, results are real-time so trends can be identified quickly and strategies subsequently refined and adapted to ensure all objectives are met.
5. Better ROI
Digital marketing proves ROI for your €€€ as you can track a user from the moment users click on a marketing campaign until they become a paying customer. Digital gives you a clear picture of how your marketing campaigns are directly impacting revenue. According to Search Engine Journal SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, versus outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. Hubspot corroborate this research stating that digital marketing can help businesses generate better Cost-Per-Lead (CPL) compared to traditional marketing or even telemarketing.
6. Real-time Customer Service
Unlike traditional marketing, communication and interaction online is reciprocal. Businesses can actively engage with potential or existing customers, resolve problems, create relationships, build loyalty, gain real-time feedback on products and/or buying experience and create potential future brand ambassadors.
7. Greater Exposure
Digital marketing has no country borders so your digital marketing strategy can potentially reach customers in all corners of the globe, at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods.
8. Greater Engagement
With Digital you can encourage prospective and existing customers to visit your website, learn about your products/services, rate them, buy them, recommend them to others and provide feedback on the product/experience.
The ability to segment and target--even micro target niche audiences--is the real beauty of Digital Marketing. It also explains why it's so successful and cost effective. You can target users based on their geography, behaviour, interests, demographics to maximise relevancy and ensure you're personalising the message to cater to that specific audience's needs and preferences.
10. Compete with Larger Corporations
Business of any size can successfully compete with the market leaders online. A well conceived, user-friendly website along with a considered customer journey and great customer service is king to a digital audience – not the size of the organisation itself.
As always get in touch if you've any questions, or if you're ready to take the next step for your business. We'd be happy to help.
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Get the ultimate guide to marketing your start-up online.