Back in 1948, former Harvard Graduate professor Neil Borden coined the term ‘Marketing Mix’. He intimated that understanding consumer behavior and combining it with a multi-faceted marketing program were key ingredients in a recipe aimed at influencing shopper decisions. The Digital Era came along, disrupting traditional as a means of reaching target audiences. Perceived as a cost center, companies hesitated to integrate this critical channel into their overall strategy. Today, digital marketing is driving business transformation with its ability to generate both direct and indirect revenue. Here are 5 ways digital marketing drives profit.
As Digital Business Card
In a traditional sales and marketing environment, we prospect for new business, present to key customers, walk tradeshows and network, all in an effort create interest in and initiate a conversation about our business. We research the competition and create strategic development plans to stay visible and to drive sales.
As a virtual business card, digital marketing is a powerful tool to connect with existing customers and to generate new leads, reaching more people at the same time. A multi-channel platform, products, and services are visible 24/7, giving consumers unlimited access to your products; the ability to purchase at any time. Smaller companies can create a digital presence capable of competing with even its largest competitor.
See and Be Seen
Globally, there are over one billion companies on the web. With the efficiency of information available at one’s fingertips, 81% of shoppers are researching products online before making a big purchase. The internet is saturated with choices and you have three options:
- Choose not to compete. The result: no one knows about the company.
- Build a basic online presence. The result: become lost in a sea of competitors.
- Develop a comprehensive strategy. The result: own your category.
The latter is the most effective use of time and budgets, and while it may sound overwhelming, engaging your online audience starts with generating awareness.
Google My Business is crucial for both online and brick-and-mortar businesses. It improves search visibility to consumers, providing details about your business, sharing product reviews, and linking to social and business pages. For brick-and-mortar it shares hours of operation, address and Google maps for getting there. Google My Business is an excellent tool for local SEO, showing a company in search-specific results. It drives new business and the cost to set up and maintain – free!
The Power of a ‘Like’
Utilizing social media is another vehicle for connecting with target audiences and staying top-of-mind. A simple ‘like’ on a business Facebook page may seem unimportant, but it presents an opportunity to engage in conversation. Utilize site analytics as you would more expensive market research – to learn about your audience. The volume of likes and shares provides insight into which products, services, ads, and communications are attractive. These tiny details can serve as important learnings for developing ongoing strategies that convert likes into sales.
Targeted and Affordable
Online advertising offers cost-effective benefits over traditional advertising. Traditional vehicles such as television may reach a large audience, but the demographics are often too broad and not relevant to the product or service being advertised. The cost of traditional advertising is costly, making it prohibitive for smaller companies.
With online advertising, audiences are defined using specific criteria. A niche product can easily reach its qualified yet narrow audience. With defined parameters, ads are seen only by relevant consumers with a need for the product. This efficient method of lead generation is more cost effective, allowing for multiple ads and ad testing to determine the right message. Including a call-to-action is critical, converting a view to an immediate sale. The potential for revenue increases while the overhead cost of traditional advertising decreases.
Keeping Focus Long-Term
While there are short-term strategies effective for lead and sales generation, achieving success through digital marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Building a long-term digital marketing strategy is important for:
- Nurturing new and existing relationships by remaining visible
- Creating consumer advocates who sell your product via word-of-mouth
- Improving search engine ranking utilizing SEO initiatives
- Establishing credibility through positive reviews, likes, and shares
- Evolving and defining target audiences utilizing data analytics
- Gaining repeat and new sales with product awareness
Digital marketing is a critical component in any marketing mix, and perhaps the most important. An extensive resource that leads to immediate opportunities, it enables companies to understand consumer behavior and identify strategies that influence purchase decisions. While companies can benefit from short-term initiatives, gaining long-term positioning and tracking ROI online takes time. Contact us today to begin a discussion about developing a digital marketing strategy that right for your business needs.
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Larry Goldstick is the owner of Capture Digital Marketing based in Jupiter, Florida.
Capture Digital Marketing specializes in creative solutions to help businesses optimize their digital presence through website development, online marketing, and individualized SEO services. Our team of professionals, work with small and mid-size companies, entrepreneurs, and independent business owners, to develop digital strategies that drive revenue. For more information, contact us today at (561) 630-3699.