The New(ish) Customer Journey
In 2012, Google created their Zero Moment of Truth handbook. It documented the multi-channel journey that customers now go through before deciding to make a purchase. It doesn’t matter whether that purchase is online or in person and the journey still stands true to this day. Digital marketing supports this new decision-making journey.
Think about the last time that you made a purchase that wasn’t on impulse:
- How did you find out about the product that you eventually bought?
- How did you find out who sold it and where they were located?
- Did you check online for reviews of the product?
- Did you compare prices across several retailers?
- Did you want to go to a shop to see it in person before you purchased?
There is more than a good chance that you made, at least, a couple of searches online before you decided to buy the product.
This is where digital marketing benefits small business. Your customers are researching their purchase well before they consider coming into a real store. You need to be there for them to be able to stand out from your competition.
5 Digital Marketing Benefits For Small Business
1. Brand visibility
This is obviously the point of any marketing plan! Digital marketing opens your brand up to new channels and audiences compared to traditional marketing activity.
You are marketing on the internet so there is much greater scope for reaching larger numbers of potential customers right where they are spending their time online. Done in the right way digital marketing will not only put your business name in front of the customers. It will also position you as a subject matter expert in your field of work.
2. Return on investment (ROI)
If you think about traditional types of marketing such as TV and newspaper ads you will be all too aware of the costs involved.
Digital marketing costs much less than these types of approach along with some other benefits.
Digital marketing campaigns are measurable. In most cases these are updated in real time. This gives you much more flexibility. If something doesn’t look to be working, you can change it straight away to constantly improve. You’re not waiting for a full run of TV ads to complete before finding out that no-one saw them!
This flexibility also means that you can scale your marketing budget up or down to suit your circumstances. On some marketing channels you can even change your budget on a daily basis! This puts all of the control in your hands.
3. Better relationships with customers
A strong online presence that is targeted to specific audiences gives you more transparency than a company that doesn’t have one.
If you are showing the real side of your business this makes it even better. Customer trust will build much quicker if they feel like they really know what your business is about.
Digital marketing gives you 24-hour access to your customers in the places that they are already spending their time “out of hours”. This means that your marketing is still working for you even outside of your opening times.
4. Immediate impact
Digital marketing campaigns “go live” straight away. There is no need to wait for sign off or print deadlines. You can set them up at any time, to meet any budget.
Another major advantage of digital marketing is that the flexibility that each channel gives you means that you can test, measure, improve and repeat every single piece of work that you do.
5. Compete with large companies
We saved the big one until last!
How many marketing tactics can you name that put you on an even playing field with the really big companies?
When it comes to digital marketing you have just as good a chance as anyone else to attract customers to your business and to gain exposure for your brand. The larger businesses may have more budget to spend on marketing activity, but that doesn’t mean that they will get all of the customers.
Take Google Adwords pay per click advertising (PPC) as an example. This works like an auction on price, but then it also takes into account the relevance of your page content before it decides who wins the auction to show the advert. This means that it isn’t always the highest bidder who wins the day! As long as you are relevant and meet the needs of your customers online, then you are still able to compete with the bigger players.
These are just 5 of the main benefits of using digital marketing for your business. Which others would you add?
If you are wondering how your own business can benefit, contact me today!