As a business, you might fall into three groups. The first are businesses that had a clear grasp of the idea early on, and they are now savoring the exceptional results of digital marketing such as low-costs, higher sales, and increased ROI. The second group are businesses that are only just implementing digital marketing. It’s never too late, and we often recommend a blended approach by using digital marketing to complement their existing traditional marketing efforts. The third group of businesses currently do not have any online presence yet. Unfortunately, not having an online presence today would only exacerbate the problem going forward, and these businesses are leaving serious money on the table.
A study in 2017 suggested that approximately 1.66 billion people worldwide purchase goods online and that our global e-retail sales amounted to 2.3 trillion U.S dollars. According to financial analysts, the global e-retail sales is projected to rise up to 4.48 trillion U.S. dollars by 2021!
That sounds like quite the rosy picture right? Well, ask yourself the following questions to understand if your business is geared up to embrace that near future.
1. Do you have a clear digital marketing strategy?
Businesses without a comprehensive digital marketing strategy do not have a clear direction online, with their followers are left confused and disengaged. Take Alibaba for example, Yazdanifard and Merveen (2014) concluded in the study that Alibaba’s online marketing strategies have greatly contributed in the influx of customers globally, thus proving the importance of cohesive planning and proper execution of digital marketing strategies. So before charging ahead, why not take a step back and create a sound plan first?
2. Do you invest in building a brand?
Oh the illusive brand image… Truth is, it’s really tough to create a brand that resonates and connects with your followers. Marketing is what you do and branding is what you ARE – branding is all about connecting to your audience and digital technology is the means that allows us to do that easily. Branding isn’t just about the products you offer but is the totality of all your efforts from social engagement, employee behavior, customer services, sales process, and etc. Remember, companies die out but brands live on forever!
3. Are you leveraging the power of advanced data analytics?
Pretty sure you got the chance to see a TV ad at least once in your life… have you? Traditional channels are forced into the sunset because they lack the ease of access to powerful analytics. In the past, conglomerates engage agencies and media outlets to promote their products and services, but only because they have the budget to do so. With digital marketing, any business, big or small, at any budget, can get data analytics of their digital marketing efforts for FREE. Your business can now track where your users are from, their age bracket, gender, click-through-rates, seconds of video watched, which part of the sales funnel did they fall out of, if your ads prompted any action, or even if it made a lead into a sale. Do I need to keep going? Now any David can go up against Goliath!
4. Are you reaching out to the right audience?
Audience targeting is an important criteria to consider if you want to have a successful business. You of course don’t want to target men if you are selling dresses, does it make sense? If you still opt for magazine and newspaper ads for instance, you might be aware already that sales continue to decline at a rate of about 16% a year. Add to that, Millennials and Gen X are no longer into watching televisions and about 20 million people have cancelled their cable subscription at the end of 2017.
5. Are you losing out to the competition?
According to a study, over 1 trillion online searches are performed each year and about 88% of people consider online reviews as a significant part in buying decision. It takes time to collect reviews and gain trust in customers online. Imagine your competitor has operated online for 1 year more than you… They now have 1 year worth of additional data (which can be used for powerful retargeting and growth strategies), and they have more favour with the “Google Gods” (search engine optimisation favours domains that have longer history). So don’t lose out and start working on your digital presence today!
If you managed to reach the end of this article, then you have a clear idea of how many of the 5 questions raised are things your business are lacking right now. Before we enter 2019, take a step back and plan what you are going to focus on. Focus on what you lack, and take massive action today!
Editor’s note: “101 Series” is a periodical column covering basic concepts about digital marketing. Come up with the hardest question and leave it in the comments section. You might just see our answer in the next #101Series post!